Try it ….. what do you have to lose … ? ? ?

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

Yes … it’s really this simple … I know it’s just too far out for you to believe …

We’d sooner believe the illusion spun to us by AMA … “big” pharma … Mon$anto …

Only FEAR prevents you from exploring what can be achieved through energetic healing …

How Energy Healing Can Cure Your Body and Mind … By David Feinstein, Psychotherapy Networker …Posted on November 12, 2010, Printed on November 12, 2010 …

Newly appointed to the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins in 1970, I wasn’t sure what to expect when the department chair called me into his office to discuss a special assignment. “I keep hearing about these ‘new’ therapies coming from the West Coast,” he told me. “Are they just more California fluff or developments worth knowing about? Go find out.” As a young therapist-researcher who was already pursuing personal improvement with the passion of someone convinced he needed a lot of it, I approached the assignment with the zeal of a young knight in search of the Holy Grail.

At the time, traditional psychoanalysis and behaviorism had been rapidly losing their “market share.” More than 200 new brands of therapy were popping up on the workshop circuit, promoted in the alluring new language of “peak experiences,” “personal growth,” and “self-actualization.” During the next seven months, I investigated 46 of these new therapies, studying their uneven research studies, conducting extensive telephone or in-person interviews with their primary proponents, and directly experiencing more than a dozen in weekend workshops or other formats.

I focused on some of the brightest stars in the pop psychology firmament of the day—Transactional Analysis, Bioenergetics, Gestalt, breathwork, sensitivity training, Rolfing, Reevaluation Counseling, LSD-assisted psychotherapy, and even a memorable nude encounter group. Many of the approaches have now faded or disappeared, some leaving a lasting mark on clinical practice, others just embarrassing memories.

The more closely I examined these therapies, the more apparent it became that doing something that feels like it’s bringing about lasting therapeutic change is much easier than actually producing such change. I didn’t conduct formal outcome research, but I did do dozens of follow-up interviews with my fellow participants after the immediate excitement of the workshops had subsided.

Their reports were sobering. Just as years of psychoanalytic insights don’t necessarily lead to greater happiness or success, I found that dramatic interventions and intense experiences didn’t necessarily lead to lasting change. Participant enthusiasm during a workshop didn’t guarantee clinical benefits following the workshop.

A fervent “primal scream” might feel like a powerful emotional breakthrough, and it might indeed provide a deep release, but evidence that it produced enduring psychological change was hard to find. Despite my hope for wonder cures, I had to admit that utopian clinical models, unshakeable therapist conviction, and even emotionally thrilling experiences didn’t necessarily yield better ways of processing emotions or experience.

I did, nonetheless, witness therapeutic moments that seemed absolutely brilliant and saw positive changes that people were still describing months later. While I wasn’t able to connect such results to a particular method, theory, or type of client, I came
to some conclusions about what increased the odds for fortuitous therapeutic outcomes. The roots of enduring therapeutic change seemed grounded in strong emotional, interpersonal, or somatic engagement, shifts in self-understanding and behavior that extended beyond the clinical context, and a readiness in the client to approach life differently.

Although none of these observations was remarkable in itself, together they gave me a much clearer appreciation of the complexity of change and the difficulty of the therapist’s task. This awareness stood me in good stead for much of the next 40 years.

Beginning about a decade ago, however, something came along to challenge some of these bedrock beliefs. Energy Psychology, a method based on tapping on selected acupuncture points to address psychological problems, called into question some of the more cautious conclusions I’d drawn from the Hopkins study. In fact, having built a career around a depth-oriented clinical approach, for a long time I introduced classes I taught about Energy Psychology by saying something apologetic like: “I can’t fully express how surprised I am to find myself standing here telling you that the key to successful treatment, even with extremely tough cases, can be a mechanical, superficial, ridiculously speedy physical technique that doesn’t require a sustained therapeutic relationship, the acquisition of deep insight, or even a serious commitment to personal transformation. Yet, strange as it looks to be tapping on your skin while humming ‘Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,’ it works!”

So, you may well be asking, what could possibly have possessed a wizened, seen-it-all therapist like me to embrace an approach that much of the world of orthodox psychology considers the latest incarnation of snake oil? Well, what follows is the answer.

A Personal Paradigm Shift
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that my involvement in Energy Psychology is largely attributable to a woman I met 33 years ago and eventually married, Donna Eden. Now a well-known natural healer and the author of Energy Medicine (the standard text in hundreds of energy healing classes, available in 15 languages), Donna has continually beckoned me off the beaten path. From the time I first met her, she claimed to be able to see energies that are invisible to most people just as vividly as my dog could hear frequencies that are inaudible to humans.

From her viewpoint, blocked or stagnant energies were signs of disease or precursors of illness. The people seeking her services ranged from those who were generally healthy and wanted help with pain or physical limitations to individuals with life-threatening conditions, such as cancer or heart disease.

While the husband in me was proud to have a partner with so much charisma, caring, and passion for her work, the scientist in me attributed much of her success to those same qualities. I’d frequently observed in my Hopkins study that a professional healer’s ability to convey personal caring, combined with a fervent belief in the transformative power of a particular approach, could generate strong enthusiasm among followers that was in itself healing.

It was another example of a phenomenon long known in medicine and psychotherapy: caring, expectation, and other “nonspecific” factors that have nothing to do with the actual intervention being used can bring about therapeutic gain.
For her part, Donna was confident in her methods and didn’t even try to back them up with research support. When hard-pressed, she might cite an occasional quote by an authority, such as Nobel Laureate in Medicine Albert Szent-Gyšrgyi’s observation that, “In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy.”

“What energy,” I’d ask. “Electrical energy? Not in any studies I’ve seen! Kinetic, thermal, magnetic, chemical, nuclear?” Donna responded by talking about the “subtle energies” of meridians and chakras. I was unconvinced. You can imagine the dinner-table discussions.
I held on to my skepticism, even as Donna’s popularity grew and I was regularly confronted with the empirical fact that her work accounted for a significant chunk of the family income. It was only as Donna’s students, who ¬didn’t exude anything approaching her confidence or charisma, began demonstrating impressive results that I started taking a closer look at the actual practices of Energy Medicine, such as using one’s hands to trace energy pathways or exerting pressure on trigger points to correct problems in the body’s “energy flows and balances.”

Although I continued to be mystified, I consistently saw clients improve, even those with such serious medical conditions as multiple sclerosis or diabetes. The results weren’t instantaneous—this wasn’t Lourdes—but gradual, clear, verifiable cures happened often enough that I took notice.

When Donna asked me to help her with a book about her approach in the mid-1990s, I dutifully began a literature search on “energy fields.” I didn’t expect to find much; actually I expected the book to be more of a memoir.

But I was stunned by the amount of scientific evidence that supported what she’d been saying all those years. For example, I learned of UCLA’s Human Energy Fields Laboratory, run by Valerie Hunt, a professor in the Department of Physiological Sciences. Hunt’s lab had found that the areas of the skin associated with the chakras spoken of by yogis, and described by Donna in terms of colors, emit electrical oscillations of a far higher frequency than had been detected on the human body ever before.

Hunt also found that some healers could accurately identify when changes in these measured frequencies occurred just by observing a person’s energies, because they could see changes in the chakra colors. This was directly relevant to Donna’s work.
I read with growing fascination Vibrational Healing, by physician and medical researcher Richard Gerber, which cited hundreds of scientific studies that lay a coherent theoretical foundation for the study of healing practices based on subtle energies. I learned about the work of Ernest Becker, an orthopedic surgeon and Nobel Prize nominee whose studies of the body’s electromagnetic currents informed his successful efforts to regenerate severed frog limbs and pioneering work on the use of electric currents to help heal bone fractures.

Impressed by the converging streams of research that backed Donna’s approach, I began asking more penetrating questions to try to get a better sense—as one who doesn’t see subtle energies—of her experience. I began to realize that her approach, though seemingly intuitive, was far more systematic and empirically based than I’d imagined. But it was only after her book was published that I began to see a connection between her work as an energy healer and my own as a psychologist.

Many of Donna’s students turned out to be therapists who were interested in Energy Psychology (EP). After years spent grudgingly accepting that seemingly ephemeral energies could impact physical conditions, this new wave of therapists was now asking me to believe that tapping on the body, supposedly to move these questionable energies, produces desired psychological changes.

To better arm myself for the inevitable discussions with these renegade clinicians, I decided to attend a demonstration of one of the forms of EP called EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). A woman suffering from longstanding, severe claustrophobia had been preselected to be the subject. She was shown where and how to tap on a series of points on her skin while remembering frightening incidents involving enclosed spaces.

To my amazement, she almost immediately reported that the scenes she was imagining were causing her less distress. Within 20 minutes, her claustrophobia seemed to have disappeared. Her improvement was astonishing. When asked to step into a closet, close the door, and remain there as long as she felt comfortable, she stayed so long that finally she was beckoned to come out.

She emerged triumphant, jubilant that she’d stayed calm in a situation that would have put her into uncontrollable panic half an hour earlier. Videos of live demonstrations featuring such single-session phobia cures are readily available; for example, check out

Although still suspecting that the claustrophobia demonstration was just a lucky shot, I was intrigued enough to enroll in a four-weekend EP training program for mental health professionals. The results I witnessed during the training, and that I began obtaining in my practice sessions between classes, continued to amaze me.

The technique proved consistently effective when used with clients suffering from simple phobias. I soon found, however, that a whole range of problematic emotions—including irrational fear, anger, jealousy, and guilt—could be rapidly quelled by tapping. I then began to experiment with more complex dynamics, such as unresolved feelings toward a parent or the residue of traumatic experiences. I quickly realized that for the procedure to be fully effective, it was critical to identify and focus on the most salient aspects of the problem being addressed.

To do this, I often had to draw on other clinical methods, particularly cognitive interventions and uncovering techniques. However, it was clear to me that acupoint tapping was turbocharging my therapeutic effectiveness with a wide range of issues. After years of resistance, I found myself applying EP with my clients—even before completing the training.

Opposing Verdicts

Despite the improved clinical outcomes I was enjoying, I was intellectually flummoxed. A wide range of EP treatment models existed, each claiming extraordinary results, while offering little evidence and only enigmatic, often implausible, theoretical explanations. Prompted by raw curiosity and encouraged by my previous experiences sorting through the “new therapies” at Hopkins and dissecting Donna’s work as a healer, I decided to try to make sense of the strange mix emerging within EP.

I gathered a team of 27 of the field’s pioneers and leaders—advocates of a divergent range of EP approaches—and posed a challenge: to reach consensus on a coherent set of methods and principles and methods for the effective practice of EP.

My inbox became a lightning rod for the controversies within the field. Differences existed on dozens of theoretical and procedural issues, but a common denominator allowed consensual guidelines to emerge. All the approaches shared two elements: calling to mind a psychological difficulty or a desired psychological state while performing a simple physical intervention that purportedly affected the body’s energies or energy fields.

For me, the most striking finding was that as long as these two conditions were met—however they were met—the outcomes reported were surprisingly strong and rapid, particularly with a range of anxiety-based conditions.

The project ultimately resulted in a 2004 training program published as a book and CD program titled Energy Psychology Interactive, which quickly became the standard text for professional EP training. In reviewing this program, the American Psychological Association’s online book-review journal referred to Energy Psychology as “a new discipline that has been receiving attention due to its speed and effectiveness with difficult cases.

[This] ambitious work integrates ancient Eastern practices with Western psychology, [expanding] the traditional biopsychosocial model of psychology to include the dimension of energy.” I expected that wide acceptance by mental health professionals wouldn’t be far behind. I was dead wrong.

The problem was that by the time the book appeared, EP—which had been around in various forms since the early 1980s—had already established a reputation for vague, esoteric-sounding language, spectacular promises of quick cures, and an apparent disdain for accepted standards of scientific proof.

The fact that some early practitioners were zealously proprietary about their techniques, charged exorbitant fees to teach them, and, in some cases, sued their own graduates for providing training in their method outside of a trademarked framework further damaged the field’s reputation.
Despite the field’s attempts to self-correct, including forming a professional organization to advance research, practice standards, and humanitarian projects, EP remained an outcast within the world of psychotherapy.

As recently as last December, the American Psychological Association (APA) denied, for the third time, the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology’s application to become a CE sponsor, in effect affirming a decade-old policy banning APA sponsors from granting CEs to psychologists for studying EP.

Arguing that “sufficient controversy exists to render uncertain the credibility of [EP’s] claims and theory,” the ruling disregarded existing research as well as the APA’s own published criteria on acceptable CE content (the basis for this assertion is presented at, but it did affirm the old maxim that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Evidence Accumulates
Despite continuing professional skepticism, empirical evidence for EP’s effectiveness has been accumulating. After its rocky beginnings, the field cut its teeth by deploying treatment teams to more than a dozen countries to provide mental health services following natural and human disasters.

Outcome data systematically collected in at least five of these countries, and corroborated by local healthcare authorities who had no stake in EP, were encouraging. The first research using established measures to investigate treatment outcomes with disaster survivors was conducted in 2006 by a team led by psychologist Caroline Sakai (see sidebar), working with an orphanage in Rwanda. Of the 400 orphans living or schooled at the facility, 188 had lost their families during the ethnic cleansing 12 years earlier. Many had witnessed their parents being slaughtered, and they were still having severe symptoms of PTSD, including flashbacks, nightmares, bedwetting, withdrawal, or aggression.

The study focused on the 50 teenagers identified by the caregivers as having the greatest difficulties. All 50 were rated on a standardized symptom inventory for caregivers and scored above the PTSD cutoff. Each then received a single acupoint-tapping session lasting 20 to 60 minutes, combined with approximately 6 minutes spent learning two simple relaxation techniques.

Not only did the scores of 47 of the 50 adolescents fall below the PTSD range following this brief intervention, these improvements in serious conditions that had persisted for more than a decade held at a one-year follow-up.

Another recent study, a randomized, controlled trial (the scientific “gold standard” for establishing the effectiveness of a treatment) with traumatized male adolescents in Peru also used a single acupoint-tapping session. The findings, currently under peer review, showed that 16 boys who’d been abused all scored above the PTSD cutoff on a standardized self-report inventory before treatment. Of this group, 8 were given a single EP session, after which none scored in the PTSD range, and they were still below the cutoff a month later. Scores for the 8 in the waitlist control group were unchanged at the one-month follow-up.

In the first randomized controlled trial of the use of EP with combat veterans, presented last April at the Society of Behavioral Medicine Conference

in Seattle, 49 vets showed dramatic improvement after six treatment sessions—42 of them no longer scored above the PTSD cutoff. Conducted under auspices of the Vets Stress Project (see, participants were recruited from throughout the U.S. and treated by volunteer practitioners. The gains persisted at the six-month follow-up. There was only one dropout. In contrast, less than one 1 in 10 of the 49,425 veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars with newly diagnosed PTSD who sought care from facilities run by the Department of Veterans Affairs actually completed the conventional treatments recommended.

After the Seattle report, I contacted the study’s principal investigator and asked whether I could interview some of the therapists involved. One of them, Ingrid Dinter, described to me her work with Keith, an infantry soldier who’d served in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War. He’d reported that in his initial therapy session in April 2008 that he’d seen “many casualties on both sides. More than three decades later, he was still tormented with nightmares and repeated flashbacks. “Sometimes I think I see Viet Cong soldiers behind bushes and trees,” he added. His severe insomnia, complicated by the nightmares, made him fatigued and unable to function during the day. He’d been diagnosed with PTSD and reported that his group and individual therapy through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hadn’t helped with his symptoms.

Keith had six hour-long sessions with Dinter, during which she had him tap on acupoints while he focused on traumatic war memories and other psychological stressors. In their first session, he reported that since the war’s conclusion, he’d rarely gotten more than one to two hours of sleep at a stretch, and averaged about two nightmares each night. By the end of the six sessions, he was getting seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep and was having no nightmares. He said that other symptoms, such as intrusive memories, startle reactions, and overwhelming obsessive guilt, had abated as well. A six-month follow-up interview and further testing showed that the improvements held. A 10-minute clip containing brief excerpts of interviews with four combat veterans before and after EP treatment, along with snippets from the treatments they received, can be found at

Can Tapping Change the Brain?

Even if studies continue to confirm that EP works and works quickly, the fundamental question remains: How does it work? How could tapping on the skin be an ingredient in producing rapid cures for severe psychological disorders? How, in fact, can any intervention reliably overcome PTSD within a few sessions? The emerging understanding of neuroplasticity—particularly the ways that thought and experience can decisively change the brain—suggests that significant therapeutic shifts can happen far more rapidly than we once believed.

It’s now at least plausible that therapeutic interventions can be developed that quickly alter the neural pathways maintaining emotional and behavioral patterns that were once protective (like trauma-based hyperarousal), but have become dysfunctional.

A series of studies conducted over the past decade as part of the Neuroimaging Acupuncture Effects on Human Brain Activity project at Harvard Medical School provides clues to why acupoint tapping may be such an approach. According to project leader Kathleen Hui, “functional MRI and PET studies on acupuncture at commonly used acupuncture points have demonstrated significant modulatory effects on the limbic system.”

How does that apply to EP? It’s always been obvious that psychological exposure is an ingredient in EP. Traumatic memories or other cues that trigger unwanted emotional responses are mentally activated during the acupoint tapping. Since exposure is the single therapeutic component present in virtually all studies of effective PTSD treatments, the success of EP has often been attributed simply to its use of that approach.

But this doesn’t address the fact that clinicians utilizing the technique, and now numerous studies, have found that by adding acupoint tapping, the exposure can be much briefer, requires fewer repetitions, and leads to positive outcomes with a greater proportion of clients. The new understanding provided by the Harvard neuroimaging studies is that stimulating specific acupoints generates signals that instantly reduce arousal in the amygdala.

So rather than relying on repeated or prolonged exposure to extinguish the threat response, EP introduces acupoint tapping during a brief exposure, which immediately counters the threat response. The process appears to work like this:

The client is asked to bring to mind an anxiety-provoking memory, thought, or related cue, activating an alarm response in the amygdala;
The simultaneous stimulation of acupoints sends deactivating signals to the amygdala, initiating an opposing process, reminiscent of Joseph Wolpe’s “reciprocal inhibition”;
The signals sent by the acupoint stimulation turn off the alarm response, even though the trigger is still present;
With a few repetitions, the trigger no longer evokes fear, and this innocuous experience, which becomes the defining memory about the trigger, is stored in the hippocampus.

The apparent operating principle, although not yet demonstrated by laboratory research, is that when a traumatic memory or other trigger is paired with an intervention that turns off the alarm response, such as the stimulation of selected acupoints, the neural pathways that were keeping the alarm response in place are altered.

In When the Past Is Always Present: Emotional Traumatization, Causes, and Cures, trauma researcher Ronald Ruden speculates on how interventions such as acupoint tapping during traumatic recall result in the elimination of conditioned fear pathways in the amygdala. Activating the memory makes the glutamate receptors that maintain long-standing signal transmissions between neurons vulnerable to disruption (this is well-established), and in a clinical one-two punch, the acupoint tapping sends new signals that “depotentiate” the vulnerable receptors. In this way, the conditioned fear is permanently eliminated.

When the maladaptive fears that are at the core of PTSD have been eradicated in this manner, associated symptoms also diminish. A marked decrease of flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, concentration problems, numbing, and even self-defeating thoughts and behaviors has been reported by clinicians, and is now being corroborated by systematic research.

So while EP utilizes psychological exposure, the acupoint tapping allows for a kinder intervention, requiring far fewer and much shorter exposures to traumatic material.

State of the Art
In Emotional Freedom Techniques, Thought Field Therapy, and numerous other variations of EP, the core procedure is simple and straightforward: mentally activate a problem or a desired positive mental state while stimulating a set of acupoints.

Targeted problems can range from simple phobias to severe trauma-based reactions to highly nuanced emotional responses, such as distrust of any man whose height is reminiscent of one’s tall father. Desired positive states that can be cultivated might include increased confidence when speaking to an audience, better eye-hand coordination on the tennis court, or an enhanced ability to express difficult feelings to one’s spouse.

EP can be self-administered or integrated into virtually any existing clinical framework. With its quick learning curve and ease of application, it’s become somewhat of a pop psych phenomenon, with more than 1.2 million people already having downloaded The EFT Manual, a guide for home application, and 30,000 to 40,000 more downloading it each month by the end of 2009.

Because EP is easy to apply and often works quickly with well-contained stimulus-response conditions, such as a simple phobia with no complicating history or secondary gains, the practitioner doesn’t necessarily need a great deal of clinical sophistication. But how many well-contained conditions are actually encountered in a clinical practice? And therein lies not only the need for highly skilled clinicians to use the relatively simple techniques offered by EP, but an explanation for the many variations in how it’s used.

For instance, if your client has a gambling problem (or any other complex condition), you have numerous areas where acupoint stimulation might be usefully applied. Some therapists put more emphasis than others on the psychodynamic roots of a problem. You could identify formative experiences regarding money and other forms of gratification that still hold a psychological charge and have the person tap on acupoints while recalling them, one at a time, until problematic emotional responses to the memories no longer occur. Or you could begin by focusing on the gambling behavior. You could use tapping to reduce the grip of environmental cues that trigger the urge to gamble.

If you discover that stress is a trigger for the impulse to gamble, as it often is, the target for the tapping might be the emotions caused by stress that are habitually subdued through gambling. By bringing to mind frequent stressors and reducing the charge on the emotions caused by each, an emotional inoculation occurs through which the stressors lose their power to induce compulsive gambling. You could also teach the client to use acupoint tapping at home to reduce cravings when they occur.

All this can be done within whatever clinical framework you already use.

You might still use cognitive-behavioral therapy to challenge your client’s unhealthy beliefs and rationalizations regarding gambling, recommend a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, encourage the cultivation of enjoyable activities to replace gambling, and make therapeutic contracts that require your client to restrict direct personal access to funds and to tempting situations.

EP doesn’t replace a comprehensive clinical approach to complex conditions, but it provides a tool for quickly shifting the way critical dimensions of the problem seem to be coded in the brain.

EP is being used in the British and French military services to treat soldiers with PTSD, and Britain’s National Health Service, which has been using EFT as a treatment modality for years, is now offering it to the public as part of its Mental Health Improvement Training.

In the United States, however, partially as a consequence of the APA’s unbending position on EP, many therapists still have to introduce the therapy surreptitiously, or risk censure. Still, EP methods are slowly finding their way into mainstream psychotherapy practice as well as institutions such as hospitals, VA centers, and HMOs, with major studies underway at Kaiser Permanente, the Sutter Health network, and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

EP’s strongest enthusiasts speak of it as if it were the psychotherapeutic equivalent of penicillin, a clinical breakthrough that will revolutionize therapy, while its critics view it as a pseudoscience whose new ingredients are no more potent than sugar water. Because the basic technique is so easy to learn—the hard part being using it well with challenging cases—I’ll sometimes ask a spirited skeptic, “Why not try it and evaluate it yourself? What’s to lose?” In fact, that’s part of the strategy employed by those bringing EP to disaster areas to gain the cooperation of local health leaders.
While empirical studies to fully demonstrate the speed and power of EP are still needed, it’s hard not to be deeply moved seeing emotionally devastated people come back into happier, more effective lives after a few EP sessions.

For instance, the video described earlier shows an Army combat veteran who’d suffered from panic attacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, anger, and depression for more than 30 years. His symptoms were getting worse, to the point that he was regularly and convincingly threatening to shoot his family. In his intake session at a five-day EP program where two to three hour-long sessions per day would be offered, he said, “The dichotomy is so great between what I was when I went in and what I became when I got out that it’s a very messy situation inside my head!” In his exit session on day five, he triumphantly announced, “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to actually feel like you’re a real person again, and not be afraid, and not have to cover up all of your junk every single day of your life.” His wife also participated in the five-day program.

On day three she said, “He’s had all the symptoms! We’ve been in psych wards for years. And in three days, we’re talking! We haven’t talked in five years; really talked!” Post-treatment testing confirmed his observable improvements, which persisted on follow-up assessments.
As we deepen our explorations of the complex mysteries of the human nervous system, rapid, noninvasive ways of repairing damage and dysfunction seem not so far away.

Energy Psychology holds promise for blazing a trail toward that goal. As bizarre as it may have once sounded, the evidence has moved far beyond the early anecdotes, suggesting that tapping on the skin can reliably facilitate decisive emotional change with a range of conditions. However uncomfortable such findings may make old-time clinicians like me, they may force all of us to rethink our models of psychotherapy. n

David Feinstein, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, is the author or coauthor of seven books and more than 80 professional articles. His books have won eight national awards, including the U.S. Book News Best Psychology/Mental Health Book of 2007. A paper published last month that contains references to the EP studies cited in this article can be downloaded from his website at Contact: df777@earthlink.netThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Tell us what you think about this article by e-mail at letters@psychnetworker.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or at Log in and you’ll find the comment section on every page of the online Magazine section.

© 2010 Psychotherapy Networker All rights reserved.
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Try it ….. what do you have to lose … ? ? ?

And all because she dared to ask questions…? ? ?

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

And all because she dared to ask questions…? ? ?

Meg McLain Singled out by the TSA, Cuffed to a Chair, Her Ticket Ripped up

The TSA chose Meg McLain for special screening. They wanted her to go through the new porno-scanners. When she opted out, TSA agents raised an enormous ruckus.

When she asked some question about what they planned to do to her, they flipped out. TSA agents yelled at her, handcuffed her to a chair, ripped up her ticket, called in 12 local Miami cops and finally escorted her out of the airport.

Listen to her story as she told it on radio show Free Talk Live last night. Things are truly getting scary.

The new American police protection

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

We come out to protest police brutality and what happens…?

We get a police state…! !

Posted By Mary On November 7, 2010 @ 11:07 am In SF Bay Area
The Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant (ONYX Organizing Committee, The New Years Movement, The General Assembly for Justice for Oscar Grant) condemns the activity of the Oakland Police Department leading up to, during and following the rally held on Nov. 5, 2010, in response to the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant III.

While the city publicly claimed it had learned lessons from July 8 and would not militarize downtown Oakland or create a climate of fear and intimidation on Nov. 5, they privately constructed an all-out military strategy to intimidate and control the people.

Police agencies from at least nine different counties, along with Homeland Security, the FBI, CIA and DOJ descended upon Oakland. As people gathered to peacefully assemble, they had to wade through rows of police just to get to the City Hall Plaza.

This in itself set a tone of anger for the people as they had just learned that Johannes Mehserle would only serve about seven months in prison for the cold-blooded murder of Oscar Grant.

Police agencies from at least nine different counties, along with Homeland Security, the FBI, CIA and DOJ descended upon Oakland.
Following almost five hours of peaceful protesting, about 300 people decided to march to the Fruitvale BART Station, the location of the murder of Grant on Jan. 1, 2009.

Instead of facilitating the march in a productive and peaceful manner, the police chose to immediately respond with tactical and strategic repression of the people’s will and rights.

The encroachment of the police on to the marchers further fueled the flame of an ignited community and led to an unnecessary confrontation on the streets of Oakland.

Shortly after the march started, about 200 protestors were cornered on the block of East 17th Street and Sixth Avenue. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) attempted to contact city officials and negotiate with the police to release the people with no arrests.

And even though word came that Police Chief Batts had agreed to give an order to release the crowd, moments later the arrests began.
As caught on video (posted below) by Youth Radio [2], Rachel Jackson stood before a line of militarized police and shouted: “We come out to protest police brutality and what happens? We get a police state!”

Rachel is with the New Year’s Movement, part of the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant that organized the protest.

Police officers refused to talk to representatives from the NLG and indeed were hostile. Negotiating with these representatives from the rally could have further diffused activity on the streets of Oakland, but the police were intent on creating a situation that would then allow them to demonize the people and remove the focus from the unjust, unfair and outright farce of a sentence received by Johannes Mehserle.

The police were intent on creating a situation that would then allow them to demonize the people and remove the focus from the unjust, unfair and outright farce of a sentence received by Johannes Mehserle.

Additionally, Chief Batts has been quoted as saying that the police expected protesters to march to Li’l Bobby Hutton (DeFremery) Park but organizers were told explicitly that roads to the park would be blocked by police barricades. The police in effect set the stage for their repressive activity to make a point to any other community members intent on making their voices heard in dissent to the system.

The Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant stands in solidarity with the people arrested on Nov. 5 and we stand firm in our belief that the people have a right to assemble, a right to demonstrate, a right to march and a right to take a stand against a system that continuously oppresses, brutalizes and murders them.

We demand the immediate release of all those arrested on Nov. 5 and that all charges are dismissed.

The Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant can be reached at [3]. Bay View staff contributed to this report.

This isn’t what Foxynews … Limbaugh … Beck … told you … was it … the “spun” it 180 degrees opposite … Open your eyes and see what’s going on around you … in your community … in your schools … are your city council meeting … or remain the ostrich … the choice is always yours …

No need to concern yourself or shed a tear as BA’s friend$ in Congress (both sides of the isle) will unquestioningly CYA

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

No need to concern yourself or shed a tear as BA’s friend$ in Congress (both sides of the isle) will unquestioningly CYA

… And hand you the bill for their service$ rendered …

Yes … it does pay to have friend$ in high place$ …

Bank of America Is in Deep Trouble, and There May Be Financial Disaster on the Horizon

Will Bank of America be the first Wall Street giant to once again point a gun to its own head, telling us it’ll crash and burn and take down the financial system if we don’t pony up for another massive bailout?

When former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was handing out trillions to Wall Street, BofA collected $45 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to stabilize its balance sheet. It was spun as a success story — a rebuke of those who urged the banks be put into receivership — when the behemoth “paid back” the cash last December.

But the bank’s stock price has fallen by more than 40 percent since mid-April, and the value of its outstanding stock is currently at around half of what it should be based on its “book value” — what the company says its holdings are worth.

“The problem for anyone trying to analyze Bank of America’s $2.3 trillion balance sheet,” wrote Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Weil, “is that it’s largely impenetrable.” Nobody really knows the true values of the assets these companies are holding, which has been the case ever since the collapse.

But according to Weil, some of BofA’s financial statements “are so delusional that they invite laughter.”
Weil points to the firm’s accounting of its purchase of Countrywide Financial — the criminal enterprise at the center of the sub-prime securitization market. Bank of America, Weil notes, hasn’t written off Countrywide’s entire value. “In its latest quarterly report with the SEC,” he wrote, “Bank of America said it had determined the asset wasn’t impaired. It might as well be telling the public not to believe any of the numbers on its financial statements.”

With investors valuing BofA at half the worth that the bank claims, it’s one titan of Wall Street that may be on the brink of collapse. But it’s not alone. “Everybody was doing this, this is not just something that Countrywide and Bank of America were doing,” legendary investor Jim Rogers told CNBC.

As a result, the banks’ balance sheets are “full of rotten stuff” that “is going to be a huge mess for a long time to come.”

And that “rotten stuff” will continue to be a drag on the brick-and-mortar economy until the mess gets cleaned up. Which, in turn, is a powerful argument for a second dip into the public trough.

When the financial crisis hit, those of us who view the free market as more than a hollow slogan urged the government to take over the ailing giants of Wall Street, wipe out their investors, send their parasitic management teams to the unemployment line and gradually unwind the huge pile of “toxic” assets that they’d amassed before selling them back, leaner and meaner, to the private sector.

It worked in the past — it was Ronald Reagan’s response to the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s. But that was then, and today Reaganite policies are deemed to be “creeping socialism” — thoroughly unacceptable.

We were told the banks were too big to fail, and Bush saw eye-to-eye with Republicans and Blue Dogs in Congress and bailed the banks out without exacting a penalty in exchange for the taxpayers’ largesse.

They socialized the risk, but the financial industry went right back to its old tricks, paying its execs fat bonuses and playing fast and loose with its accounting.

Much of that toxic paper remains on their books — somewhere. The assets are still impossible to price and now several Wall Street titans appear to be approaching a tipping point, poised to once again to extort a mountain of cash from our Treasury by claiming to be too big — and interconnected — to crash and burn as the principles of the free market would otherwise dictate.

But there’s a difference between then and now. At the time, most of us saw the crash as a result of hubris and greed run amok in an under-regulated financial sector. Now, we know the financial crisis was the result of unchecked criminality — that fraud was perpetrated, in the words of University of Missouri scholar (and veteran regulator) William Black, “at every step in the home finance food chain.” As Black and economist L. Randall Wray wrote recently:

The appraisers were paid to overvalue real estate; mortgage brokers were paid to induce borrowers to accept loan terms they could not possibly afford; loan applications overstated the borrowers’ incomes; speculators lied when they claimed that six different homes were their principal dwelling; mortgage securitizers made false [representations] and warranties about the quality of the packaged loans; credit ratings agencies were overpaid to overrate the securities sold on to investors; and investment banks stuffed collateralized debt obligations with toxic securities that were handpicked by hedge fund managers to ensure they would self destruct.

That homeowners would default on the nonprime mortgages was a foregone conclusion throughout the industry — indeed, it was the desired outcome. This was something the lending side knew, but which few on the borrowing side could have realized.

And since the crash, they’ve committed widespread foreclosure fraud, dutifully whitewashed by the corporate media as nothing more than some “paperwork” problems resulting from a handful of “errors.”
It is anything but.

As Yves Smith, author of Econned: How Unenlightened Self-Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism, wrote in the New York Times, “The major banks and their agents have for years taken shortcuts with their mortgage securitization documents — and not due to a momentary lack of attention, but as part of a systematic approach to save money and increase profits.”

Increasingly, homeowners being foreclosed on are correctly demanding that servicers prove that the trust that is trying to foreclose actually has the right to do so. Problems with the mishandling of the loans have been compounded by the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, an electronic lien-registry service that was set up by the banks. While a standardized, centralized database was a good idea in theory, MERS has been widely accused of sloppy practices and is increasingly facing legal challenges.
Judges are beginning to demand that the banks show their work — prove they have the right to foreclose — and in many instances they can’t, having sliced and diced those mortgages up into a thousand securities without bothering to verify the paperwork as most states require by law.

This leaves what Smith calls a “cloud of uncertainty” hanging over trillions in mortgage-backed securities — the largest class of assets in the world — and preventing a real recovery of the housing market. In turn, that is holding back the economy at large; according to the International Monetary Fund, it’s the drag of the housing mess that’s causing the high and sustained levels of unemployment we see today.

Big financial firms have also been cooking their books in order to obscure how shaky their balance sheets really are because honest accounting would likely bring an end to those big bonuses that drive “the Street.” Yet a day of reckoning may be fast approaching.

If the worst-case scenario should come to pass, with the banks hit by thousands of lawsuits, unable to foreclose on properties in default and with investors running for the hills, expect to hear calls for TARP II. It’d be a very heavy political lift, but given Congress’s fealty to Wall Street it could plausibly be passed.

There are alternatives. As in 2008, the federal government could put failing financial institutions into receivership. But some experts are saying that if we want to get off the roller coaster of an economy moving from one financial bubble to the next, a bolder approach is necessary: permanent nationalization of banks that can’t survive without public dollars.

“Inevitably, American taxpayers are going to pick up much of the tab for the banks’ failures,” wrote Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz last year.

“The question facing us is, to what extent do we participate in the upside return?” Stiglitz argued that the government should take “over those banks that cannot assemble enough capital through private sources to survive without government assistance.”

To be sure, shareholders and bondholders will lose out, but their gains under the current regime come at the expense of taxpayers. In the good years, they were rewarded for their risk-taking. Ownership cannot be a one-sided bet.

Of course, most of the employees will remain, and even much of the management. What then is the difference? The difference is that now, the incentives of the banks can be aligned better with those of the country. And it is in the national interest that prudent lending be restarted.

Leo Panitch, a professor of comparative political economy at Canada’s York University, wrote that “the prospect of turning banking into a public utility might be seen as laying the groundwork for the democratization of the economy.”
Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt, points to the success of the nation’s only government-owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota. “Last year,” she wrote, “North Dakota had the largest budget surplus it had ever had…and it was the only state that was actually adding jobs when others were losing them.”

North Dakota has an abundance of natural resources, including oil, but as Brown notes, other states that enjoy similar riches were deep in the red. “The sole truly distinguishing feature of North Dakota seems to be that it has managed to avoid the Wall Street credit freeze by owning and operating its own bank.” She adds that the bank serves the community, making “low-interest loans to students, farmers and businesses; underwrit[ing] municipal bonds; and serv[ing] as the state’s ‘Mini Fed,’ providing liquidity and clearing checks for more than 100 banks around the state.”

Several states have considered proposals to emulate North Dakota, but such a bold move would obviously be all but impossible in Washington.

But it shouldn’t be off the table. Banks provide an “intermediary good” to the economy, creating no real value. But Big Finance’s speculation economy has caused great and real pain for the rest of us. As Joe Stiglitz put it, there’s no reason in the world the incentives of the banks shouldn’t be better aligned with the interests of the country and its citizens.

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet … Posted on November 11, 2010, Printed on November 11, 2010

Our economy is based solely on smoke and mirrors with just a dash of house of cards … gota love their creative illusion …

Yea … I know … that’s not what FoxyNews or Limbaugh or Beck or Palin feed you … but …

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

Yea … I know … that’s not what FoxyNews or Limbaugh or Beck or Palin feed you … but …
You just might want to read the article ask some pertinent questions and not accept the BS pabulum 30 second sound bite answers our politicians on both sides of the isle give us…

The scary actual U.S. government debt

Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff says U.S. government debt is not $13.5-trillion (U.S.), which is 60 per cent of current gross domestic product, as global investors and American taxpayers think, but rather 14-fold higher: $200-trillion – 840 per cent of current GDP.

“Let’s get real,” Prof. Kotlikoff says. “The U.S. is bankrupt.”

Writing in the September issue of Finance and Development, a journal of the International Monetary Fund, Prof. Kotlikoff says the IMF itself has quietly confirmed that the U.S. is in terrible fiscal trouble – far worse than the Washington-based lender of last resort has previously acknowledged.

“The U.S. fiscal gap is huge,” the IMF asserted in a June report. “Closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 14 per cent of U.S. GDP.”

This sum is equal to all current U.S. federal taxes combined. The consequences of the IMF’s fiscal fix, a doubling of federal taxes in perpetuity, would be appalling – and possibly worse than appalling.

Prof. Kotlikoff says: “The IMF is saying that, to close this fiscal gap [by taxation], would require an immediate and permanent doubling of our personal income taxes, our corporate taxes and all other federal taxes.

“America’s fiscal gap is enormous – so massive that closing it appears impossible without immediate and radical reforms to its health care, tax and Social Security systems – as well as military and other discretionary spending cuts.”

He cites earlier calculations by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that concluded that the United States would need to increase tax revenue by 12 percentage points of GDP to bring revenue into line with spending commitments.

But the CBO calculations assumed that the growth of government programs (including Medicare) would be cut by one-third in the short term and by two-thirds in the long term. This assumption, Prof. Kotlikoff notes, is politically implausible – if not politically impossible.

One way or another, the fiscal gap must be closed. If not, the country’s spending will forever exceed its revenue growth, and no one’s real debt can increase faster than his real income forever.

Prof. Kotlikoff uses “fiscal gap,” not the accumulation of deficits, to define public debt. The fiscal gap is the difference between a government’s projected revenue (expressed in today’s dollar value) and its projected spending (also expressed in today’s dollar value). By this measure, the United States is in worse shape than Greece.

Prof. Kotlikoff is a noted economist. He is a research associate at the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research. He is a former senior economist with then-president Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. He has served as a consultant with governments around the world. He is the author (or co-author) of 14 books: Jimmy Stewart Is Dead (2010), his most recent book, explains his recommendations for reform.
He says the U.S. cannot end its fiscal crisis by increasing taxes. He opposes further stimulus spending because it will simply increase the debt. But he does suggest reforms that would help – most of which would require a significant withering away of the state. He proposes that the government give every person an annual voucher for health care, provided that the total cost not exceed 10 per cent of GDP. (U.S. health care now consumes 16 per cent of GDP.) He suggests the replacement of all current federal taxes with a single consumption tax of 18 per cent. He calls for government-sponsored personal retirement accounts, with the government making contributions only for the poor, the unemployed and people with disabilities.

Without drastic reform, Prof. Kotlikoff says, the only alternative would be a massive printing of money by the U.S. Treasury – and hyperinflation.

As former president Bill Clinton once prematurely said, the era of big government is over. In the coming years, the U.S. will almost certainly be compelled to deconstruct its welfare state.

Prof. Kotlikoff doesn’t trust government accounting, or government regulation

The official vocabulary (deficit, debt, transfer payment, tax, borrowing), he says, is vulnerable to official manipulation and off-the-books deceit. He calls it “Enron accounting.” He also calls it a lie.

Here is an economist who speaks plainly, as the legendary straight-shooting film star Jimmy Stewart did for an earlier generation.

But Prof. Kotlikoff’s economic genre isn’t the Western. It’s the horror story – “and scarier,” one reviewer of his book suggests, than Stephen King.


A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency


George Bush’s Deception Points
Joseph C. Wilson …CEO, JC Wilson International Ventures …Posted: November 9, 2010 05:35 PM …

Having read that people began lining up in front of bookstores before former President Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, was due to be released, I hurried off to purchase mine early on November 9, arriving about fifteen minutes after opening time. I have the distinction of being the first person to purchase Bush’s book in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I have a special interest in understanding how the former president sees his decision to invade Iraq and his use of intelligence to justify the invasion. I have also been curious about what he might have to say about the betrayal of a CIA covert officer’s identity, my wife’s, by, among others, two senior members of his staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Karl Rove.

I had seen his interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer in which he volunteered that Scooter Libby was a “loyal” American who had been somehow caught up in the Valerie Plame affair. I was thunderstruck by his description of a man convicted of four counts of lying to federal officials, perjury, and obstruction of justice, the chief of staff to the Vice President who knowingly offered up Valerie Plame’s name to a New York Times reporter, and who was so obsessed with destroying my reputation that he kept a three-ring binder on me and an annotated copy of my book.

My expectations for truthful revelation in Bush’s book, after his comment, were naturally low. I have not been disappointed. In fact, Deception Points might have been a more appropriate title.

The former president deals with the Plame affair briskly, fairly early in the book, in the context of what he describes as the last and most “emotional personnel decision” of his presidency: what to do about Scooter Libby. He refers to the “agonizing decision” of whether to “let Scooter go to jail,” to pardon, or to commute his sentence. En route to the denouement of poor Bush’s “agonizing,” the reader is first subjected to a recitation of the right wing talking points designed to discredit us, including the debunked canard that “Wilson had been sent to Niger … on the recommendation of his wife.” What I didn’t find in the book is Bush’s explanation of the misuse of the intelligence in making the case for war with Iraq.

Instead of dealing with the inconvenient facts Bush simply refers again to the bogus British intelligence on uranium yellowcake, ignoring that his CIA had warned him at least three times that our own intelligence services did not believe the claim.

Secretary of State Colin Powell omitted the assertion in his UN speech, but Bush still hides behind that shredded fig leaf.

Bush calls the controversy that followed the publication in the New York Times of my op-ed “What I Didn’t Find in Africa” a “massive distraction.” But nowhere does he acknowledge that the “distraction” was self-invented. After all, there are really only two germane points:

1) Joe Wilson wrote an opinion piece which asked about the president’s statement in the State of the Union on efforts to procure uranium yellowcake, “Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq?”

2) Within two days of the article’s publication the president’s spokesman told both the New York Times and the Washington Post that the statement should not have been in the State of the Union. Everything else surrounding this “massive distraction” was created by Bush and his minions: the leak of Valerie’s name and identity, the subsequent investigation, which, despite Bush’s entreaties to his staff that they cooperate with the special prosecutors took over two years, and of course the concerted disinformation and character assassination campaign waged against us by Bush’s minions.

Bush cannot even bring himself to acknowledge that Valerie was what is now universally known: a covert CIA operations officer. Bush’s characterization is a pathetic euphemism: “Then it came out that Wilson’s wife’s position was classified.”
In the end, after resolving not to reward anyone who went outside the official channels, Bush bowed to Cheney’s insistence that a pardon be reviewed for Libby, and asked “two trusted lawyers” to review the case. Not even they could find justification to pardon.

When Bush told Cheney of his decision not to pardon, Cheney responded: “I can’t believe you are going to leave a soldier on the battlefield.” The president was perplexed that perhaps his friendship with Cheney would not survive. A couple of paragraphs later, the reader is informed this concern was unwarranted — the agony and the ecstasy, one supposes.

The president appears in this book to live in Htrae, the Bizarro world of DC Comics where society is ruled by the code that “Us do opposite of all

Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!” To that might be added: Us hate truth.

Subliminal advertising … yea … it works …

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

Subliminal advertising … yea … it works …

Sneaky Bottled Water Advertising …By Peter Gleick …Pacific Institute
Posted on November 10, 2010, Printed on November 12, 2010 …

Americans drink bottled water for many reasons, including fear of the tap water, convenience, taste, and relentless, pervasive advertising and marketing. Some of this advertising is blatant and obvious: ads on TV or in magazines for particular brands of bottled water, big billboards that blight every public sightline, and visible reminders in supermarkets and convenience stores, and ubiquitous vending machines.

But other advertising is more subtle. That is the subliminal advertising that bombards us through “product placement” or “embedded advertising” in television shows and movies. I’ve always liked the TV show Scrubs, but it always bugged me that they regularly and persistently placed various bottled water brands in the hands of the lead actors, including especially the notorious “Penta” brand, which made (and in some places continues to make) outrageous, unsubstantiated, and downright false claims about magic restructuring of the molecules of water and health benefits.

Indeed, they’ve been sanctioned for false advertising in Great Britain. I have no idea if the producers and writers received money for this product placement, or if it was done in return for some other service or benefit, but it is rare that specific products appear on shows without some kind of financial deal.

Water Numbers: One industry estimate says that bottled water advertising exceeded $150 million a year in 2005, and it has continued to grow substantially since then. In 2007, paid product placement was estimated to be nearly $3 billion and growing by 30% a year.

Just recently, an especially odd example came to my notice (thanks to Emily Green, who writes the Chance of Rain blog, for finding this). The TV show Private Practice, which I don’t watch, had the following remarkable 17-second clip (now posted on YouTube) from Episode 6 in Season 4, in which one of the leading characters goes up to the office refrigerator and says, “You know what I love about this place?

None of this toting around thermoses. Just good old, environmentally unsound, non-biodegradable, here-for-a-thousand-years plastic bottles.” As she says this, she takes out a big square bottle of Fiji Water (yes, really bottled and transported here from Fiji), opens it and takes a swig.

Not being a regular viewer, I don’t know these characters at all. I don’t know if she is environmentally savvy and is being sarcastic (though, if so, why isn’t she drinking from the tap), or environmentally antagonistic and mocking the growing social movement away from bottled water. And I don’t know if the producers received money from Fiji Water, in which case this counts as direct product placement and not social commentary.

Perhaps regular Private Practice viewers can weigh in with their opinions or insights? And it would be interesting to hear from the producers whether money changed hands on this scene or they thought they were just writing punchy dialogue.

Next time you watch TV or a movie, keep a sharp eye out for both obvious ads and more subtle product placements and see if you can see the sneaky hands of the advertisers at work.

Dr. Peter Gleick is president of the Pacific Institute, an internationally recognized water expert and a MacArthur Fellow. This post originally appeared in Gleick’s City Brights blog at SFGate.
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