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Book The Great Pain Deception

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Enrique, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Has anyone read this new book?


    Edit/Moderator's note:
    This thread is the result of combining 4 great threads about The Great Pain Deception, by Steven Ray Ozanich. The first thread is from soon after the book was published and features Dr. Zafirides weighing in on the book. In two threads, DearLianne and MontanaMom have just discovered the book and start threads talking about how much they love the book. In another, the prospect of an audiobook is discussed. Finally Steve himself weighs in in a number of places. We know that people wouldn't want to miss this, so we have combined the threads into a single thread, chronologically organized, to provide the most helpful resource possible.

    Feel free to add your own review if you would like to share it. If you do, please rate it on a scale of 0 to five stars, and we will aggregate those ratings in this post at the very start of the thread, for easy access.
    honey badger likes this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Haven't read it yet, but spoke with a TMS therapist who read the first 100 pages and said that they were good.

    Generally, I prefer TMS books by doctors or psychologists, but if he really gets it then he gets it. I guess that that is what counts.
  3. Peter Zafirides

    Peter Zafirides Physician


    I am in the process of reading Steve's book at this time. He has a compelling story from the point of view of the TMS patient. Amazingly, he is from the same city in Northeast Ohio where I grew up. What a very small world! I hope to have him on my podcast in the near future.

    Once the dust settles with his book tour, we have also discussed the possibility of building up a TMS resource network in that part of Ohio.

  4. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Hey! That's great, Peter!
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think that regional referral networks like this will be crucial for the growth of the movement. There is a strong one in NYC centered around Dr. Sarno (and now Dr. Rashbaum) and another in LA, centered around Dr. Schechter. Dr. Clarke recently mentioned setting up a Stress Check-Up network in Colorado and my hope is that Dr. Stracks is setting one up in Chicago. My bet is that other, smaller networks are being set up in other locations as well, wherever PPD/TMS clinicians get together and start networking.
  6. Enrique

    Enrique Well known member

    Networks like this are a very positive trend!
  7. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi Friends,

    I forgot who recommended that another poster should read this book - it was on another thread on this TMS site, but I purchased this book and am 2/3's of the way through in just 3 days. He offers amazing insights - very smart fellow.

    I am so grateful that this book was recommended as a great support to those of us with TMS. Steve tells his own story and gives some very detailed information about how he overcame the TMS pain. He uses humor too, which can be uplifting :) As a result of my reading his book I've gone out for power walks for the last two days and feel really good. While Dr. Sarno does emphasize that we should get physically active again this book really hones in on the fact that Steve overcame TMS by just getting out there and moving (despite the pain). His bravery really helped me to say, "If he can do it, I can."

    So, to the person who wrote recently that another individual had to read this book, I say "thank you."
    I am writing here so that others can benefit from reading his book because it is life changing.

    I've read all of Dr. Sarno's books but I've yet to read any of the physicians' books. If anyone has any other recommendations here, please let me know. Thanks.
    Forest and veronica73 like this.
  8. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    Steve's book is next on my list Lianne!

    The other's that I've found very helpful were Dr. Scott Brady's Pain Free For Life: The 6 week cure. It has a lot of very useful info for deep journaling, a whole section of suggestions for questions to ask yourself to help get past the pain.

    And my very favorite so far, Fred Amir's Rapid Recovery from Back & Neck Pain.
    Forest likes this.
  9. 3rdCoast

    3rdCoast Peer Supporter

    I just finished Steve Ozanich's book, The Great Pain Deception, and also cannot recommend it highly enough. It's definitely a must read in the TMS road to healing. Steve, if you happen upon this thread, thank you for writing this book!! Your story of triumph is inspiring, the writing is spot on the TMS trail, and the book is also supremely informative. A life changer indeed.

    I've read all of Dr. Sarno's books as well as The Presence Process by Michael Brown. I also read a couple books on somatics by Thomas Hanna and Martha Peterson.
    Richsimm22 and Forest like this.
  10. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Thanks Leslie and Matt for your suggestions of additional books and for your confirmation about Steve's book, The Great Pain Deception. Once I finish his, I plan to look into your suggestions for further reading.
  11. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Thanks for the kind words Dearest of all Liannes and Matt S. My story has not fallen on deaf ears.

    Lianne you are a power reader. That book took ten years to write, most people are taking 3 months to read it. Forest is in year three (he's too busy so I'm teasing him.) There's a lot of information packed inside.

    I wrote it for one reason, to help people see deeper, ending needless suffering. I knew I could do it if I showed people that I did it; so they could too. And you just confirmed that by saying, "if he can do that, I can." I've heard that quite a few times over the past year, and it still sounds good, every time. No one wants to think they suffered in vain. It all had deep purpose. It is suffering that lights the fire of consciousness.

    I'm getting a steady stream of healing stories from the book. 2 last week and one again this morning. Anyone can heal if they want to. It sounds odd but not all people want to heal. They consciously want to, but that means nothing. The unconscious holds the key to healing because the unconscious is what started the problems.

    I hope all is well in WikiDome. If anyone liked the book please review it. I just signed a contract to spread the TMS message higher and wider. Also wrote my first article about TMS for an online magazine. One of the main reasons they wanted to work with me was because of the Amazon Reviews. They are more important than people realize. I never considered them before either. But it seems people only think something is good if "other people" tell them it is. Very much like the next in-vogue TMS serpent that will strike. Someone else will say it, someone else will hear it and someone else will get it. We long to be connected to one another, and we will use any means to stay connected. Tracordifying all the way to the ER.

    Be well,

  12. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    I'm looking forward to reading your book Steve. Put it on my Kindle last night and I appreciate the regular "time frame" for reading as well. I have a habit of reading VERY fast (carry-over from school days I suspect) and a tendency to be a "skimmer", which served me well in my previous profession but is not such a valuable asset when trying to learn about myself. I was given a helpful hint not too long ago to go back to my "school days" and make myself take notes while I'm reading. It slows me down and it helps to get the info in there just a bit further. I will definitely take that approach with your book (and know that if I'm done after a week, it's time to go back to the beginning & start over to see what I missed!).

    I completely agree that not everyone actually wants to heal. I don't believe it's an intentional choice, more that some people have invested so much time and energy into their pain (funny freudian note, the first time I typed "pain" here it read "paint") that it truly has become a part of them that they just wouldn't know what to do without. More a habit than a choice I guess. As someone who is healing more and more each day, and loving every minute of it, it makes me sad and angry when I come across someone whom I believe to be in pain by habit. It's frustrating when you know someone's life could be so much more than it is if they could just "get over themselves", open their mind, and entertain the idea that it could actually happen. Has taken me more than a bit of practicing to remind myself that everyone is entitled to make their own choices and I don't have to agree with all of them - also doesn't mean I have to make the same ones :)
  13. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Leslie, you said several insightful things, and you write well. I didn't understand the "paint" thing but I probably missed an inside reference somewhere.

    You can't skim or read TMS books quickly. Indeed, the ones who are not progressing are the ones who read the books, then say, "ok which book is next?" It doesn't work that way. You have to live what's written in them. Sleep it, eat it, dream it, and become it. I essentially healed from HBP (more later in this post). You only need one "if you believe" or "if you want to heal." These are very important aspects in healing, and they open up a can of worms (do worms come in cans?... we used to see them on the ground when I was a kid).

    I'm getting a nice steady stream of healing stories from my book from different countries (Canada, US, NZ, Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland, etc, couple others). But those people slept with the work, dog-eared pages, highlighted passages, checked off things I recommended, memorized passages, and asked follow-up questions. That's the full integration process. Over time the brain begins to acquiesce, and a new reality replaces a corrupt paradigm.

    For those who are stuck, or haven't changed, it's invariable, they don't remember anything in my book. I ask them if they did this or that, and the answer is, "I don't remember that." They move on to the next book and read that one quickly, and then to the next, etc. I suppose they're looking for the magic sentence, or magic word. When people ask me how many people my book healed I always say, "none." My book cannot heal anyone. I merely provide the information to them, they have to heal themselves. So when people read it and don't get better, they simply move on and miss a great opportunity to free themselves from their self-constructed prisons. I give them many keys, they have to turn the lock and step out. But that is a frightening aspect to many. Prisoners who have been confined for many years fear being out in public again. It's the very reason they built their own prisons in the first place ~~~> for protection.

    That brings us to the second great Leslie point. Not all people want to heal. There are a very minor few who openly don't want to heal. They are all around me here in Ohio too, I see it. When I approach them with Dr. Sarno's work they say, "I don't want to hear that crap, I'm getting paid to golf and fish, go away man, you're killen my buzz." They exist, and they're all too common. But I'm not referring to that group when I say not all want to heal. I'm talking about UN-consciously not wanting to heal. They don't even know they don't want to heal. Remember, that the TMS exists as a protective mechanism. It exists as a shield between the person and their fears. They themselves have created the wall of protection. So it's like, duh, of course they don't want to experience what's behind that wall. That's the brain doing them a big favor! Now comes decision time...

    So they come to a fork in the road of their lives. There they stand, beer in one hand, Xanax in the other. One direction is freedom, the other direction is more suffering. We all know where the road of continuing suffering takes us. But the freedom road will put them back into life, into the criticisms, the spotlight, the energy demands, and into possible failure again. It actually sets them on the road to being human again, with all their flaws and open wounds--ego's biggest fear. But as Jung said, "there is no wholeness without imperfection." The freedom road is scary with unknowns of immense proportions. But it's also the road to deep happiness. So which direction do they choose? They often choose neither, which is procrastination highway; the fast road to nowhere, where they still feel safe. One way of procrastinating is to keep reading more and more material. I said that this is a form of TMSing, by putting off the work that needs to be done. The constant gathering of information (beyond what is needed) is a form of OCD. (OCD is ritualistic, compulsion is behavioral)

    So it all comes down to courage. I agree with Dr. Sarno when he said he admired these people. I really admire everyone who writes to me, who admits who they are, and then tries to undo the knot of their lives. I'm moved by some very powerful stories of courage. But I can't judge others who are stuck because I haven't lived their lives or walked a mile in their sandals. Their pain could be great, and so I offer sympathy and a compassionate ear. When their times comes they will reach for the gold. It's best not to push them, but to offer a helping hand, or they will push back harder.

    Now--some will say, "hey, I like Dr. Sarno, but I needed Claire Weekes or Joe Nose-more! So more books did me better!" But that's not at all against Dr. Sarno. He said "25% will need more." I also went to Dr. Emmett Miller's relaxation stuff to use. Once you understand and believe what's occurring you may need to focus on that, but Dr. Sarno is still correct, there's nothing wrong with you, and you are experiencing the effects of repressed emotions.

    The more difficult part, is when people take Dr. Sarno's work, twist it around to their own version, and then confuse people. They simply claim it for their own. Here is where people are getting really confused. He warned me about this early on but I didn't pay it much credence, now I see how dangerous it is. Then they state, "Hey, Sarno said he was open to new ideas." Yes--but he never said, "change whatever you want to make it yours whether it's true or not." He meant, if they proved him wrong he was open to anything. But they seem to be taking that as "I changed it, so mine is better cause it newer than Sarno's!"

    So far I've seen nothing but conjecture regarding "altering" his work. And this has proven to be the most dangerous threat for the entire TMS message. I'm now trying to explain TMS to newcomers and also explain why this TMS-expert says Dr. Sarno is wrong here and there. It's tragic, but only disappointing to Dr. Sarno. It was inevitable though. Georg Groddeck, MD, said that the first perverters of any doctrine will be within the first disciples.

    When I was healing there was only one source/message. Today there are many fractured sources, this can be problematic down the healing road. Be careful of which wind you face your sail toward because that is the direction you will head. Will it be to shore, or out to sea further?

    Will SteveO read more books on TMS? Hell yes, I'm really curious about the topic, and a closed mind never learns anything new. But if your mind is totally open your brains will fall out. So be cautious in learning. I like this Pathways book idea because it came from the good doctor's people. I can't wait to sit down and get into it to figure out the rest of Forest's sentences.

    Happiness first...

  14. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi Steve,

    It sincerely is wonderful to be able to communicate with you via this forum; isn't technology great? It's amazing to be able to have a thorough conversation with an author like you and to be able to express such appreciation for your work. Ten years is a long time to invest in writing but I sincerely see how your book could take that long; it was clear to me as I read your book that you completed some in-depth research to back up your statements. I also appreciated your humor very much :) I loved the subtle quips at the end of paragraphs and envisioned the humor that you must display in your day to day interactions.

    As I type my response to you, I have CNN on and there's a story about a significant landslide in Washington state. A homeowner is being interviewed about this huge landslide that occurred today. The newscaster is asking him about whether he's anxious about the fact that his home is within 500 feet of this huge cliff that has fallen away; the drop is at least 100 feet from what I can see - maybe more. His answer is that, "Well, we knew when we came here that this was the risk - but the view is so great." So, then this gets even better as the television cameras show these beautiful, estate-like homes dangerously perched on this newly eroded cliff. The broadcaster then asks, "Aren't you concerned, I mean, you are recovering from spinal surgery, aren't you?" to which the homeowner answers, "Yes, I am. But, we plan to stay here because the view is so great and it would take months to evacuate our home of its contents anyway." WOW! Wow, I say to myself. The interviewer was taken aback and couldn't really retrieve the interview at that point. She moved onto the next question but it was clear that this guy was denying the painful event that had happened to his neighborhood today. Spinal surgery - hmmm...I thought. Perfect example for what you and Leslie have been discussing in this forum.

    Steve, thank you for your excellent book and for sharing your innermost self. And, your suffering was not spent in vain. I'm sure there were many dark days - but you've come up like the Phoenix from the ashes, sharing with others your pain and your final freedom from pain.

    Keep in touch. I have a feeling that your next contract that you allude to for spreading the word about TMS is going to be very meaningful and that we will see more of your work.

    Peace & Light.
  15. Leslie

    Leslie Well known member

    First things first: Steve, thank you for your most generous compliment on my writing. Please indulge me as I explain the "paint" thing, as I realized when I read your reply that the "funny" part of it never made it out of my "jumping bean" of a mind and into the post. As I was proof-reading (perfectionist habit that plagues my journaling when I let it) and deleting the "t" from pain I realized 2 ideas that caused me to find humor in the "t". There was a particular person who had come into my mind as I was typing about someone who wouldn't know what to do without the pain. This person had been a painter for many years until the pain all but put a stop to it. I also found myself thinking how unfortunate it is that pain is the "paint" that colors the worlds of so many.

    "They move on to the next book and read that one quickly, and then to the next, etc. I suppose they're looking for the magic sentence, or magic word"
    This statement was me at the beginning of my journey, which began with a Google search about the "emotional component of pain". That search brought me to this website. I read about Dr. Sarno's work and books on the home page and "had to have that book", which wasn't exactly an option at 8pm on New Year's Eve (didn't have a kindle then!). My New Year's Day activity was to find a bookstore that had the book and begin a "new" journey. Once I started reading (in the car on the way home from the store - no, I wasn't driving!) I couldn't put the book down. The more times I identified with what I was reading, the more I was convinced that the "magic sentence" or "magic word" would be on the next page. After all, people had professed their pain "cured" by reading a book. I'm an intelligent being, I love to read, if the "cure" was in there, certainly I would find it. Page after page of belief that "it's on the next page", until there were no more pages and I wasn't cured. I understood the message, it all made sense to me but it didn't "cure" me, so I moved on without allowing sufficient time for the new info to actually process.

    This website/forum is a true blessing, a wonderful resource, but for someone just taking the baby-steps into the idea of TMS, it also has the possibility of being overwhelming. After all, those same personality traits that brought me into the pain were still in the driver's seat when I got here. I started out trying to use my "perfect", "compulsive drive" to "fix" the exact thing it had broken! I had "lists" of "must reads" compiled not only from the reference section of the website, but also from many, many truly well-intentioned forum members. The "lists" fueled the "student" in me, unfortunately that student was trained to alway focus on the "freedom/finish line" of graduation, not on the journey of the education itself. Study, study, study, put it in as quickly as possible. Keep reading until you find that one "magic" word or phrase that says exactly what you need to hear in the exact manner and at the exact time you need to hear it. More fuel, more pressure, continued pain. The stress of "still hurting", the pressure of getting through "all those books" and the RAGE - at myself for obviously "not getting it" (after all, the confirmation of "getting it" was being pain free according to what I had read), and at others (in the form of jealousy) for being able to "get it".

    It wasn't until I told "the student" she was "excused"; that her diligence and determination were appreciated, but it was time to try another approach, that I actually started to make progress with the pain. I've taken myself from the traditional "student in the classroom" type reader to the "vacationer on the beach" type and so far it's working. Now that I'm reading, not because I "must to get well", but simply because I enjoy it and I love how I'm expanding as a person, I'm truly benefiting from the information I'm gathering.
    Forest likes this.
  16. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Lianne, yes, technology does have its good side too, along with the obvious bad of losing touch with personal relationships (3D people). That's a yin yang thingy. It give us more opportunity to learn by bypassing the major communication channels. 30 years ago I probably would never have been able to publish my book. Today, everyone has one.

    I had my dark days for sure, and most likely will in the future, but once you've broken through part of the consciousnesses wall, a little, things look much different. I see a little bit further than I did before the suffering. I wanted to help people ease their own suffering and also shed a little light. As a recovering perfectionist my intention was to create a TMS-handbook that people could always return to for strength, and a little courage. A TMS-Bible. That was actually one name I threw around but I thought it might offend some people and sounded a bit grandiose. Then I switched the title to The Back Pain Catastrophe. But realized that was too narrow because TMS covers all aspects of our health. So in 2004 or 05 I settled on the title, A Mind Divided. Then in 2007 Dr. Sarno came out with his book, The Divided Mind, so I scrambled to change it again.

    I now understand the "pain(t)" story. It was indeed a Freudian slip, although not the embarrassing kind where the shadow bursts through unexpectedly.

    I brought up the concept of perpetual gathering of information because it's a big problem that I see in healing. I'm not advocating my book, or any book. In fact I've never told anyone to buy my book. They will find it when they decide they need it. My point was that the people who are healing have lasered in on the TMS concept and buckled down to begin the work. Those who are not progressing most often jump from book to book. They are also often the ones who pick apart Dr. Sarno's work, "the old man is wrong here, and here, and here..." It's part of what Caroline Myss wrote about in Why Some People Don't Heal. Their fear of succeeding keeps them cynical because what's underneath is fear. There was a point in my own healing where I wondered. "Do I have some huge trauma or molestation in my past that I've repressed because I can't face it?" But that wasn't the case.

    Of course there are other reasons people pick apart the good doctor's work. Most is ego-driven. I can only say that in 11 years since I've been doing this, I haven't seen him wrong yet. But I keep my eyes open. The only time I disagreed with him, an act of TMS heresy, was early on when he said there was no secondary gain in pain sufferers. But he also evolved through the years, softening on some issues and digging in deeper on others. No one can ever claim that Dr. Sarno had a closed mind on anything. You don't stand up for the truth against the money machine and ruin your "reputation" by having a closed mind.

    He truly is a Renaissance man who enjoys classical music, cooking, fine art, Shakespeare, etc. I asked him if I could write his biography a few months back because he's such an interesting person.

    This TMS Peer Network is so vital to the TMS cause. There needs to be centralization or the message keeps fracturing until it's diluted. One of the most common things asked of me is, "is there a therapist or TMS MD in my area Steve?" I know Forest wants to keep the provider list updated and and relevant, but it takes much more work that people can imagine. They've all done a great job here. I would certainly add Emmett Miller, MD, to the lists here. He was one of the first mindbody docs in the country around 1970 or so. He doesn't know Dr. Sarno but whenever I tell him about TMS he says, "yes, that's right, that's what I see in my practice too....that Sarno guy is right."

    TMS is a part of life. It's when it controls your every thought and very existence that you need to look deeper. Leslie is so correct when she excused the student in her. We are too goal oriented, basing our life on minute by minute successes and failures. There is no place or time when we "get there." We're already there.

    When I went back and researched the great healers of hundreds of years ago they all had had the same observations. Ill people, and people in pain, had no joy in their lives. They were so wrapped up in the details of life, getting it all right, that they missed just being with a friend, seeing the sunrise, and laughter. I made up my mind early on to use quotes throughout the book because they are the best summarizers of a section of work. Quotes are the exclamation points of life. (you can quote me on that). Many of the ones I used, in fact a lot of the book, was cut out in editing. But I remember daily the one by Voltaire, "God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh." That one hit home and stayed there. We are meant to live, laugh, and love, freely. Not to cower in fear at our every move. This is the divided mind. The 'want to dos vs. the should be doings." At the end of my book I quoted the great healer Groddeck again, "It(pain and disease) must punish a sin against a commandment." Those people who are tougher on themselves are the greater sufferers due to guilt and shame. Letting go is vital in healing, but sometimes complex.

    I hope all is well in TMS-ville.

  17. Karen

    Karen Peer Supporter

    Steve, I am another who wants to thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this spectacular book! I am on vacation this week so this book is what I'm doing!! Your story is so painful and yet you have used this experience to help hundreds of others like myself.

    I just found this quote and it blew me out the door because you are describing the way I feel right now. This pain that I am in now has been a long time coming for me...I have been totally burnt out for 10 years!! It was so bad last week I couldn't even walk in the mornings and I was in the 'Dominican'!! It was there that it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was in a real bad flare-up of 'fibro'.

    Quote: ''The unconscious mind holds the center of emotion and sends messages to be interpreted by the conscious mind. In a fast-paced life there is no time to reflect, and so these messages go widely untranslated until there is stimulation overload whereby pain and illness form. Then follows a period of desperately needed understimulation (by missing work or being bedridden), due to that very same pain or illness, as the mindbody can no longer continue its balancing act. The individual, outside of his awareness, brings on his own pain or illness so that he CAN be acceptably removed from the stressful or unwanted situation.''

    I am even wondering if it's a possibility that I brought on the rear end car accident 2 years ago!! (Wide eyes) I love the late Jerry and Ester Hicks...I wonder what she would say about this question???

    Thanks Steve....I feel like I have hope again....today, I don't want to die......
    eric watson likes this.
  18. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS Consultant

    Karen, I'm glad you're on vacation. You need time to sit back and reflect. Read, slow down, make a plan and return with a new mission. I wrote that book to help people like you. So if it helps then it's a great honor.

    I know what Ester would say to your question. Quantum mechanics is now discovering that we do have control over matter formation, and our reality. The amount of control depends on the depth of belief.

    Good luck, don't forget to get silly while you're off work. Become a kid again for a while. When TMS strikes life has become too serious, lost is our innocence. Don't fret over uniting your divided mind, try to lose your mind for a time. Control has broken you down. Lose a little of your grip on today.

    eric watson likes this.
  19. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    I want to say thanks to Steve for all the help he's given me in my recovery
    with Steveos book and poster help, Sarnos works along with
    my own brain I learned everything is beautiful.
  20. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is why I connected so much with the Great Pain Deception. It is so inspiring to read about someone who's experience, so closely resembles your own. I only accepted the TMS approach to begin with, because of people like Steve who were willing to share their own stories. Like with the original success stories I read, I saw so much of myself in Steve's story, both in regards to the development of TMS and my recovery. Describing abandonment as the major force behind TMS really resonated with me, and is a message that I think can really help a lot of people become pain free.

    To follow up on the spirit of reviewing Steve’s book, I went ahead and posted my own on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/review/R2KQ3H...e=UTF8&ASIN=0615462219&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag= .

    For all of you people out there who have read this book and found it helpful, I encourage you to write a short review of it on Amazon. There are a ton of people who search through Amazon, and writing reviews for TMS books is a great way to get the word out there. Having reviews on new TMS books, such as this one, will help expose more and more people to the TMS approach.

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