JSB Vol.3 No.2

  Journal of Spiritual Bodywork 

 Vol. 3, No. 2                               ISSN 1079-8390                              January 1998   



Marian Chapman

Pastor of the Fellowship of the Divine Healer, Mountainburg, AR

Spiritual massage healing is a from of divinely inspired and divinely guided religious healing. It consists of prayer, love, anointing with oil and movements derived from the laying on of hands. It is the practice of ones religious faith and conscience. It is a mode of worship. The spiritual massage practitioner is a religious healer. Prayer is an integral part of spiritual massage healing. It provides the healer with guidance. Without prayer, there is no spiritual massage healing. -  Rev. Albert Schatz (Journal of Spiritual Bodywork, December 1994)

Among those I have ministered to over my years of massage practice, are several of the nuns living at St. Scholastica Monastery. There are over one hundred Sisters living at the monastery. They are an aging population. They've discovered the benefits of massage in easing some of their discomforts. A few of Sisters expressed interest in learning to give a massage.

I volunteered to teach them. I recently finished teaching seven of the Sisters basic massage techniques, along with the contra-indications to massage. I also taught them the special considerations that must be taken with geriatric massage. It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget.

One of the highlights of those classes was when one of the younger nuns expressed her surprise at not only the benefits to the person receiving her massage, but what it did for her own well-being while giving the massage. She said she had taken the class even though she didn't think there could be much benefit to massage.

I received much more than I gave in teaching those classes. During the last class, when we were putting all the parts they had learned into a full body massage, two of the Sisters who had already received a massage during the class decided that rather than they receiving a second one, they should both give me a massage. They are true spiritual massage healing ministers.

All the nuns sang prayers for me during my massage. They told me that they would each pray for me whenever I came to their mind. What a blessing I received! I, like a little piggy who can't get enough, hope the Holy Spirit brings me often to each of their minds.

One of the Sisters is Chaplain at St. Edwards Hospital and now includes the touch of her spiritual massage healing ministry within her hospital ministry.

Prayer is the most powerful from of energy one can generate. The influence of prayer on the human mind and body is as demonstrable as that of the secreting glands. Prayer is a force as real as terrestrial gravity. It supplies us with a flow of sustaining power in our daily lives. - Alexis Carrel: Prayer

I, though licensed as a massage therapist by the state of Arkansas, have never liked the term therapist any more than I liked the term technologist once used. I am a minister of spiritual massage healing. Massage has always been, for me, a spiritual exercise — the anointing with oil and laying on of the hands as recorded in the Bible and other documents of ancient history.

I believe from the time man left Eden, the laying on of hands has been a gift of the Father as a means of healing one another of the various pains, afflictions and injuries we are subject to outside the garden. I believe prayer is part and parcel of that healing. No prayer — no healing.

After my room is set up each morning, I anoint it and my table with prayer. Some of those who come to be ministered to enter actively into prayer with me, giving thanks to God for His healing. We often leave the prayer open until the laying on of the hands is finished. Others, I offer up a silent and general prayer for, asking that God fulfill the needs in their life.

Prayer, combined with the most gentle laying on of the hands, and in cases where movement is contra-indicated, just letting the hands rest on the body, or simply stroking the aura, will bring about beneficial changes, release of the soft tissues and relaxation of the muscles, much more rapidly and profoundly than all the deep tissue work in the world. Prayer combined with gentle touching, gentle muscle manipulation, makes putting the recipient through the pain of deep work unnecessary and is much less strain and work on the minister.

This does not mean that I don't ever lay the hands on deeply or vigorously. I do if the receiver wants that or if I am led by spirit to do so. I never work at a depth or in a manner that will cause bruising or other injury. There is a place within us from which intuitive touch can be called forth. Intuitive touch always works at just the right depth, administers the correct movements for each solution, and never harms.

Each minister of spiritual massage healing performs that ministry as individually led by God. My sharing with you how my ministry unfolds does not mean I think you should practice your ministry as I do mine. Each minister of the anointing with oil and the laying on of the hands is unique, led in a singular ministry by the Holy Spirit. Each uniquely offers up their vehicle for the transmission of the healing power of God. The common thread among us is the recognition that prayer is necessary for spiritual healing to take place. The roll of faith, of believing that what is asked for in prayer is received, will be dealt with in another article.

Without faith a man can do nothing

But faith can stifle all science.

                                                      Henri Frederic Amiel. Journal


Thank you so much for the time and gift of yourself you have given us in teaching us how to communicate peace and well-being through touch.   God Bless you! - Sister Alice Ann

Thank you for giving your time for us. I hope we can make very good use of it in helping ourselves and others. God bless you and may God increase your peace and joys every day. With love and prayers. - Sister Anita

Thank you Marian for teaching us massaging, a God given gift, this ancient God-given gift — to preserve our lives. God love and bless you. - Sr. Herman Joseph. (Sister Herman Joseph writes Haiku poetry. Her thank you is a 5-7 syllable Haiku poem.)

I want to let you know how much I have enjoyed your massage demonstrations. I have really benefited both physically and spiritually from them. You were always so kind and understanding. I intend to use what I have learned both to myself and also to others. God bless you and thanks very much. - Sister Maurine

You have generously shared your "gift-of-touch" with us, enabling us to share it with others. May the Lord bless all our touches with his healing powerWith love and gratitude -  Sister Rosalie

Thank you for giving of yourself to us and others. We will be thinking of you and with prayers "May God bless you." Yours in Christ -  Sister Leona Marie


Thank You

Thanks to you, Marian

You shared with us

Not counting the cost or time.

You gave of yourself

The magic wrought by your hands.

The spirit of massage

You anxiously imparted.


May the All Compassionate One

bless you abundantly;

May the tender love of our Maker

Be yours in the days to come.

When I think of you and your work

I will utter a little prayer that goes like this—

Bless Marian, this day, and keep her in your loving care.  

Sister Madeline Clifton

Thank You

from the family of Sisters living in

community at St. Scholastica

Dear Marian:

We greatly appreciate your generosity in training a group of our Sisters in massage. They benefited much from the sessions and always looked forward to them.

I met with Sister Anita to talk about ways they can be of service to others here. Soon I will be meeting with all of them to work toward setting up a place for them to use for massage. I would also like for them to adapt their skills to the needs of some of our bedfast Sisters in the Infirmary.

You and your loved ones are remembered in our prayers. May God continue his healing work through your hands. Gratefully, Sister Elise Forst & the Sisters at St. Scholastica.

I received incomparably more than I gave. I can only imagine the spiritual massage healing that will take place at St Scholastica, knowing of the continual prayers and the faith of the Sisters.

I hope that all spiritual massage healing ministers look out into their communities for those whom they can teach that would benefit from learning to administer spiritual massage healing to the sisters and brothers of their churches, and to their families and friends. What a wonderful way to make God's healing through prayer, anointing with oil and laying on of the hands available to all.

* Reprinted with the author's permission from the Fall, 1997, issue of the Newsletter of the Arkansas Alliance of Massage Practitioners.






Albert Schatz Ph.D., Workshop Leader

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Everybody can be a spiritual healer. He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do. - John 14:12

Jesus' dual mission

 "At the beginning of his public life, Christ accepted a dual mission: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. (Luke 4:18) Christ thus defined his mission to relieve man's mortal and physical suffering. His mission was at once theoretical and practical: for the soul, inspiration; for the body, therapy." Father Jean Jurion wrote this  in his Journal d'un Hors la Loi in 1966. He died in 1977.1

About the workshop leader

Dr.  Schatz has for much of his life bridged two worlds - the physical and the metaphysical, the scientific and the spiritual. He is a minister and has been involved with spiritual healing and other healing modalities for some 20 years.  He is also a world-famous scientist. In 1943, he discovered the antibiotic streptomycin, which was the first effective treatment for tuberculosis - The Great White Plague. This disease has killed a billion people during the past two centuries. Streptomycin was also the first effective treatment for pneumonic plague, which is the most deadly form of bubonic plague - The Black Death.

About this workshop

This workshop focuses on how we can dowse our subtle energy bodies to obtain information which will enable us to regain and maintain health. We have two bodies - a material body with which we are all familiar, and a subtle energy body which is an energy field. The material body has a small volume and occupies a small space in the universe. The energy body is a field that goes throughout the universe. Both bodies are intimately interrelated and involved in health and disease. 

 Why this workshopis important

God helps those who help themselves. One way we can help ourselves it to  do all we can to regain and retain good health. This workshop teaches us how to do that for ourselves and others.

Conventional medicine is a double-edged sword. It provides important help for many health problems. But it is also be harmful. A 1991 study by researchers at the Harvard University School of Public Health, revealed that conventional medicine is the fourth major cause of death in the united States. It comes after heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Conventional medicine kills more than twice the number of people killed in automobile accidents.

That was the situation before we had HMOs. Because medical care has seriously deteriorated with HMOs, conventional medicine may now be causing more deaths now than it did in 1991. 

We were originally told HMOs would supply better care at less cost. In reality, HMOs supply less care at more cost because their primary objective is maximum profit. To maximize profit, HMOs have corporatized medicine so that it provides people with assembly line treatment. HMO-medical assembly lines, like all assembly lines, are deigned to operate with maximum efficiency.

Maximum efficiency requires that minimal time and minimal attention be devoted to each individual unit (patient) that is processed. HMO assembly lines function not to provide the best care people need, but to maximize profit so that the chief executive officers of HMOs can get extraordinarily high salaries and financial perks. In other words, the bottom line of HMOs is net profit, not the best health care.

To a large extent, we are therefore "on our own" with respect to health care. This means that we have to take care of ourselves and others as best we can. This workshop helps us do that.

Dowsing for health

"To dowse ... is to search with the aid of a hand-held instrument such as a forked stick or a pendulum bob on the end of a string - for anything."1

Dowsing for Health is similar to dowsing for water, oil, mineral deposits, lost objects, and missing people. All dowsing depends on our sensitivity to detect the subtle energy which emanates from what we are looking for. We can all learn to detect and work with subtle energy.

The origin of dowsing for health. Father Jean Jurion, a French Catholic priest, was introduced to dowsing by another priest, and was then inspired to learn medical dowsing from three dowsing priests who pioneered the art of what was then called medical dowsing. The three priests were Abbé Alexis Bouly, Father Jean-Louis Bourdoux, and Father Alexis Mermet.

I prefer the term  dowsing for health instead of medical dowsing because doctors (in the United States) do not dowse their patients. Therefore, when we dowse for health, we are not doing what doctors do.

Some dowsers say that, when they dowse, they  have the sensation of hearing "the 'still small voice' of the Bible ... talking to them from within."1

The Dowser's Prayer. Lord. Guide my hands, enhance my sensitivity, and bless my  purpose, that I may be an instrument of Your power and glory in locating what is searched for. - Josefa V. Rivera. 1977. Annual Convention Program of the American Society of Dowsers. 1983.

Importance of dowsing

"Aubrey Westlake, M.D., an English physician, who used [dowsing] extensively, stated a year before his death, 'I believe that the rediscovery of the dowsing faculty is not fortuitous but has been vouchsafed to us by providence to enable us to cope with the difficult and dangerous stage of human development that lies immediately ahead. For it gives indirect access to a supersensible world, thus extending our awareness and knowledge.2

"The faculty [of dowsing] should be regarded as a special and peculiar sense, halfway between our ordinary physical senses, which apprehend the material world, and our to-be-developed future occult senses, which in due course will apprehend the supersensible world directly.'"

John B. Hasted, Professor of Physics, Birdbeck College, University of London, commented on Chris Birds book on dowsing1 as follows: "This book is a mine containing rich veins of little-known history, results of investigation, and imaginative speculations. And still adds up to a puzzle, a challenge to which science must continue to respond."

About spiritual massage healing

Spiritual healing, including spiritual massage healing, is a religious ceremony. It is a form of divinely inspired and divinely guided religious healing. It consists of prayer, love, anointing with oil and movements derived from the laying on of hands. It is the practice of one's religious faith and conscience. It is a mode of worship. The spiritual massage practitioner is a religious healer. Prayer is an integral part of spiritual massage healing. It provides the healer with guidance. Without prayer, there is no spiritual massage healing.

In spiritual massage healing, the laying on of hands is, in and of itself, a form of prayer (William A. McGarey, M.D.). "The term massage is derived from the Greek masso - [meaning] I knead and from the Arabic mass [meaning] to press softly." (Richard Haehl) The Bible does not specify whether, during the laying on of hands. one touches an individual with or without moving one's hands. A spiritual massage healer may do either or both. If the healer's hands move, they may lightly slide over the skin or move parts of the individual's skin and different muscles.

Compassionate massage. "I am awed that the most wondrous of all the massage strokes is that of simply 'resting' - resting my hands , resting my intentions, resting my heart as one would rest in contemplative prayer. Compassionate massage, then, is also embodied contemplation. Silently, I am here, sheltering you through my hands with my own vulnerable and wounded loveliness. This is touch raised to the art of anointing, the art of prayer and the sacrament of caring." (Mary Ann Finch).

The term massage is used in spiritual massage healing only because some of the movements (derived from the biblical laying on of hands) which a spiritual massage healer does may, to the uninformed, appear to have some resemblance to certain manipulations of secular bodywork.

Spiritual massage healing, which facilitates self-healing, is as variable and as highly individualized as other forms of spiritual healing are. In this respect (and in other ways), spiritual massage healing is very different from the standardized procedure of symptom-directed, medically-oriented, secular massage therapy.

Spiritual healing and spiritual massage healing are not practicing medicine

"Healing by prayer and spiritual means" is specifically excluded from coverage by the Pennsylvania Medical Practice Act. This is "An Act relating to the right to practice medicine and surgery and the right to practice medically related acts..." The Act defines "Medicine and Surgery" as "The art and science of which the objectives are the cure of diseases and the preservation of the health of man, including the practice of the healing art with or without drugs, except healing by spiritual means or prayer."

Spiritual Healing is not a substitute for medical treatment. If an individual wants spiritual healing instead of medical treatment, he has to make that decision himself. Some people have both medical treatment and Spiritual Healing. Many people go to Spiritual Healers because medical treatment has not helped them.

About Therapeutic Touch

Therapeutic Touch is derived from the biblical laying on of hands that was done within a religious context. It has evolved into a non-contact healing (i.e., without touching) in which the healer moves her hands over an individual's body at a distance of a few inches above the skin.

This is now done within  or without a religious context. Some people who do Therapeutic Touch believe that God or Jesus is working through them, or with them. When Therapeutic Touch is part of a spiritual healing, it is done in a religious context.  Therapeutic Touch is a well-defined healing procedure in contrast to spiritual healing which is highly individualized, and is therefore done in many different ways. It is not medical treatment.

Spiritual healing and Therapeutic Touch both work with subtle energy. We each have a material body and a subtle energy body which is an energy field. We are comparable, in this respect, to a magnetic and its magnetic field. Therapeutic Touch works on an individual's subtle energy field, and may be considered short-distant healing, "deviceless dowsing," and massage of an individual's energy body.

Some people use L-rods, which are dowsing devices, to demonstrate the energy field when they teach Therapeutic Touch. Some spiritual healers use L-rods to demonstrate the increase of an individual's energy field after a healing. Dolores Krieger describes how to make and use L-rods, which she refers to as dowsing rods in her book, The Therapeutic Touch. How to Use Your Hands to Help or to Heal. Prentice-Hall, Inc. Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 1979.


What is dowsing?

Can everybody learn to dowse?

What are Y-rods?

What are L-rods?

Is a pendulum a dowsing device.

Can people "map dowse" the body for health?

Do you need to use L-rods in Spiritual Healing?

If not, why do you used them?

What is subtle energy?

How does subtle energy differ from the energies we are familiar with, such as electricity, sound, light, and heat.

How is subtle energy related to health and Spiritual Healing?

Is subtle energy  involved in Therapeutic Touch?

Is subtle energy involved in dowsing?

How did you, as a scientist, get involved in Spiritual Healing?

How did you learn to do Spiritual Healing? How long have you been doing Spiritual Healing?

Do others in your family do Spiritual Healing?

Can Spiritual Healing be harmful?

Can everybody do Spiritual Healing?

How long does it take to learn to do Spiritual Healing?

What do you think about when you do Spiritual Healing?

What does the expression "facilitating self-healing" mean?

When you do Spiritual Healing on

somebody, does he have to think about what you're doing?

Is Spiritual Healing a gift from God?

Is God involved in Spiritual Healing?

Is all Spiritual Healing based on the biblical "laying on of hands"?

Does Spiritual Healing always involve anointing with oil?

Does a person have to be religious to be a Spiritual Healer?

Does a person have to be religious to benefit from Spiritual Healing?

What do you do if somebody asks you to do Spiritual Healing,, but says he doesn't  believe it really works?                                                                                                 

Or, if he says he's an agnostic or an atheist?

Is nature involved in Spiritual Healing?

Does Spiritual Healing help everybody?

Does a spiritual healer need to know a person's medical history?

My right shoulder has bothered me for six months. Will Spiritual Healing help me?

Does a spiritual healer have to know the cause of a person's health problem?

What are the limitations of spiritual healing?

When doesn't it work?

For what kinds of health problems is Spiritual Healing helpful?

How soon does a person feel the benefit of Spiritual Healing?

How long does the benefit of Spiritual Healing last?

Is Spiritual Healing a placebo effect?

What evidence is there that Spiritual Healing really works?

How and why does Spiritual Healing work?

What is the best, or most effective, way to do Spiritual Healing?

Are there different ways to do Spiritual Healing?

If so, how do you decide which way you will do Spiritual Healing with each person?

Do you do Spiritual Healing differently on women, men, and children?

If so, why?

Can you do Spiritual Healing without touching an individual?

If so, how is that done?

How far away can the spiritual healer be ..still be effective?

Is that what's called "absent healing" or "distant healing"?


Why don't doctors tell their patients about Spiritual Healing?

Should I tell my doctor I'm getting Spiritual Healing?

If I feel better, should I stop taking my medicine?

How much do you charge for Spiritual Healing?

Does medical insurance pay for spiritual healing?

Why does this workshop include both

Spiritual Healing and Therapeutic Touch?

How do you decide whether to do spiritual healing, Therapeutic Touch, or both for each individual?



1. Bird, C. The Diving Hand. The 500-Year-Old Mystery of Dowsing. E. P. Dutton & Co. 1979.

2. From Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird's book Secrets of the Soil. Harper & Row Publishers. NY. 1989.


The Church for Spiritual Healing and Health is a non-profit, Pennsylvania corporation. The Articles of Incorporation of the Church have been amended three times. The purpose of the first two amendments has been reported in the Journal of Spiritual Bodywork.1,2 The purpose of the third amendment is:

1. to clearly identify and define spiritual massage healing as an integral part of the religious purpose of the Church, and

2. to clearly differentiate spiritual massage healing, legally and otherwise, from secular massage therapy and other secular bodywork.M

The three amendments provide the following information:

1. The religious purpose of the Church specifically includes spiritual massage healing.

2. The word massage has a different meaning in spiritual massage healing than it has in secular massage therapy. Many words have different meanings when they are used in different contexts.

3. The term healing in spiritual massage healing refers to the purpose of spiritual massage healing. This purpose is to help an individual achieve her or his unique spiritual wholeness. Spiritual wholeness results from regaining and maintaining whatever measure of spiritual health is possible for an individual at a particular time.

Spiritual wholeness and spiritual health may or may not be associated with recovery from a health problem of the material body, as the term recovery is used in the conventional (secular) medical sense. 

4. There are two kinds of spirituality.

Religious spirituality is associated with revealed religions.

Nature spirituality is associated with nature religions.

5. Because there are two kinds of spirituality, there are two kinds of spiritual massage healing.

Spiritual massage healing is based on revealed religions.

Nature spiritual massage healing is based on nature religions.

6. Both kinds of spiritual massage healing are forms of worship and religious ceremonies. Both kinds of spiritual massage healing are therefore protected by the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

7. The Free Exercise Clause assures people the freedom to worship as they choose, and prevents the government from penalizing them because of their religious beliefs.  The Establishment Clause guarantees the separation of church and state by prohibiting the government from promoting or supporting religion in any way.

8. Both kinds of spiritual massage healing are  different, legally and in other ways, from secular massage therapy and all other secular bodywork.

9. "Healing by prayer and spiritual means" is specifically excluded from coverage by the Pennsylvania Medical Practice Act.

This is "An Act relating to the right to practice medicine and surgery and the right to practice medically related acts..." The Act defines "Medicine and Surgery" as "The art and science of which the objectives are the cure of diseases and the preservation of the health of man, including the practice of the healing art with or without drugs, except healing by spiritual means or prayer."

Spiritual massage healing involves "healing by spiritual means [and] prayer."


1. How the Articles of Incorporation of the Church for Spiritual Healing an Health were amended. Spiritual Massage Healing Ministry. 1(4):6-7.1995.

2. Schatz, A. The Church for Spiritual Healing and Health may now ordain Spiritual Massage Healing Ministers. 2(1):1-4. 1996.

 The twenty first century will be religious or it will not be at all. - André Malraux

The industrial society's attitude to man and nature, making them just raw material resources and agents to achieve civilization, has brought industrialized countries close to a situation of a spiritual revolt. This will become the key event of the 21st century. - Mikhail Gorbachev



Seven Service Marks have been registered by in Pennsylvania and one in Maryland. These Service Marks are effective for a period of ten years from the date of registration,shown below.

One purpose of registering these service marks is to  distinguish (a) secular massage from spiritual massage, (b) secular massage therapy from spiritual massage healing, and (c) practitioners and teachers of secular massage therapy from practitioners and teachers of spiritual massage healing. Secular massage and secular massage therapy are defined in state massage regulatory acts, and elsewhere. Spiritual massage and spiritual massage healing are defined in various articles in the Journal of Spiritual Bodywork and the Spiritual Massage Ministry Newsletter.

Service marks registered in Pennsylvania

Spiritual Massage HealerSM - 1/3/95

Spiritual Massage PractitionerSM - 1/3/95

Spiritual Massage MinisterSM - 1/5/95

Spiritual Massage TeacherSM - 2/28/95

Spiritual Massage Healing MinisterSM - 3/4/97

Spiritual Massage HealingSM - 11/4/97

Spiritual Massage Healing MinistrySM - 11/10/97

The following information about a Service Mark is taken from Title 54, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (54 Pa.C.S.), Chapter 11. Trademarks. The Sections, which are quoted, are indicated at the end of the following two paragraphs.  

Definition: A Service Mark is "a mark used in the sale of advertising of services to identify the services  of one person and distinguish them from the services of others; and includes, without limitation, the marks, names, symbols, titles, designations, slogans, character names and distinctive features of radio or other advertising used in commerce. (54 Pa.C.S. §1102)

The Application for Registration of a Service Mark contains the statement: "Applicant is the owner of the mark and no other person has the right to use such mark in this Commonwealth, either in the identical form thereof or in any such resemblance thereto as might be calculated to deceive or to be mistaken thereof."(54 Pa. C.S. §1112)

Service mark registered in Maryland

Spiritual Massage Healing MinisterSM - 11/15/96

The following information about a Service Mark is taken from the Business Regulated Article, Subtitle 4 Trademarks and Service Marks, Annotated Code of Maryland, §1-401.

"'Mark' means a name, symbol, word, or combination of two or more of these that a person: ... displays or otherwise uses to advertise or sell services that the person performs, to identify those services that the person performs, and to distinguish them from services that another person performs." CA


Mary Brewster

I was recently in a tutorial of Counseling Psychology students. At the first meeting, we were sharing "special" information about ourselves, a bit of personal history, and what drew us to this field of study. I was impressed by the fact that most of us gravitated toward this field within the context of our spirituality.

Even though the group was diverse: - engineer, armed forces personnel, alternative health care provider, social workers, office workers, community development workers, teachers - all shared the common thread of wanting to help and serve our communities. All shared an understanding and need for a spiritual life, yet some had no "religious" affiliation. Three were ministers, denominational and nondenominational, who wanted to incorporate psychology into their ministerial work.

All agreed, in order to serve their chosen population and, to make a difference in the world, they must  draw upon their spiritual selves. All were there to embrace their need to participate in the "healing" of the world.

We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones.                                            Henry David Thoreau

Leadership is the art of seeing things invisible. - Johnathan Swift

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