Guest Post: Apocalypse Mindset: Don’t Let It Get You Killed by John Meyers

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Publisher’s Note: It appears BREXIT is reality and all the usual suspects are bleating and mewling that the sky is falling because a political subsidiary of a larger psychopath collective has dared to divorce it self from the theft and oversight of the fetid EU. Good for them, now we can consider DisCoXit (District of Columbia Exit).

 A Yale law professor acknowledges in a mainstream left-liberal publication laws no matter how banal must be wiling to kill to enforce. Hence the police state that is Amerika today. Folks who frequented this site have arrive t that obvious conclusion years ago.

 Read the preface for a great introduction to James Scott’s work and Irish Democracy. He is nowhere near being a libertarian abolitionist but he asks poignant questions despite deviating wildly from the moral certitude of his inevitable conclusions.

 From his tepid and rather confused “Two Cheers for Anarchism”:

 “Quiet, anonymous, and often complicit, lawbreaking and disobedience may well be the historically preferred mode of political action for peasant and subaltern classes, for whom open defiance is too dangerous….One need not have an actual conspiracy to achieve the practical effects of a conspiracy. More regimes have been brought, piecemeal, to their knees by what was once called “Irish Democracy”—the silent, dogged resistance, withdrawal, and truculence of millions of ordinary people—than by revolutionary vanguards or rioting mobs.”

 We need more Irish Democracy in America. It took the denizens of Eire over 800 years to trade their foreign socialist shackles from England for domestic collectivist manacles they wrested upon themselves. Maybe America can take less time than that to sunder the tentacled embrace from Mordor on the Potomac.

Update 032003JUL16: Max Velocity speaks to the issue here.

John is a long-time personal friend and benefactor of the ZG underground. This post deserves long reflection and should help triage priorities for the coming Endarkenment. -BB

Scenario games and “what if’s” dominate conversations in the preparedness culture.

Working through various situations in our heads makes perfect sense. It helps develop a key tool: Mindset.

What these Kim’s games generally lack is context. These conversations assume everyone in the discussion has the same conception of what the event will be, or the even broader question of what exactly SHTF means. It’s all subjective and situational dependent. There is no answer to “what if…?” The context must be defined.

A mundane question such as ‘what is the best combat load out?’ will morph into a three hour back and forth about this or that rifle, which plate carrier is more Gucci and what type of underwear is the most efficient at wicking ball sweat. The whole time I sit back listening and thinking: “Well what is the mission? What is the event? Who, What Where, When, Why?” Essentially going over the civilian version of METT-TC in my head. It is never lined out. One person is envisioning the proverbial horde of mutant cannibalistic biker gangs ravaging the countryside, ala One Second After. Another’s context of the event is a full on invasion of CONUS by Daesh or the Haqqani Network. And another is thinking “Jeez, I thought SHTF was when I lost my job last week.” Context is critical. But one thing is true about nearly all these conversations. It tends to always focus on the absolute worst scenario imaginable, despite minor variations in each persons head.

What this community needs is an accurate threat analysis. Threats need to be defined and essentially listed out from the most likely to the least likely to occur. One is more likely to encounter a profit crime on the street, before ISIS shows up in your bedroom. You are going to encounter a home invasion or an active shooter before an insurgency against the US state or Mad Max II.

After running this through my brain for a couple years, I concluded that an apocalypse-only focus may get you killed in the streets. With this in mind I am no longer focusing on the most cataclysmic and unlikely event as my training priority.

After attending a number of classes over the years, I found that it was not uncommon at all to see half or more students, upon finishing the class, pack up their gear, lock up their rifle, separate the ammo then drive home without a CCW on their person. During class they had chest rigs for days, but not even a J frame to stick in their pocket when they return to normal life. The class made them better off to fight the Zombies invading their neighborhood, (if they had plenty of advance notice to prepare of course, to strap on their war kit and get in the proper fighting stance) but they were completely unprepared to defend themselves from a normal street criminal, the much more likely scenario.

Their mind was in “One Second After” scenario mode. They were ready to go SBU prone with their fire team, but lacked ECQC skills and tools to combat the all more likely scenario of the Stop and Rob they bought that Gatorade from being violently robbed. A robbery that was committed not by an ISIL operative yelling ALLAH SNACKBAR! But by a normal looking middle-aged white guy, who decided to initiate the robbery by smashing a wine bottle from the rack over their disarmed and situational awareness deprived head.

I got news for you. The Shit has JUST Hit The Fan the moment that wine bottle busted over the guys head. (So much for that “Truck Gun”)

These people lack the mindset needed in the day-to-day world, because they are constantly focusing solely on the threat found in the latest 37-volume prepper fiction novel. The Event to them is not the home invasion tomorrow in the present day “Rule of Law” world; it is only the invading Chinese in “Without Rule of Law” society, where they will be conveniently snuggled up in their retreat, waiting for the Red Devils and Blue Helmets to arrive with their 40 closest Ranger Buddies.

In the wake of recent active shooter events in the country, a common refrain among the “Sheep Dog” gun culture is how they will simply employ their ‘truck gun’ in the event of a mass shooting. What they left out was that the venue where the shooting is happening is filled with 400 people. The mythical “truck gun” is chained under their back seat, 135 yards away, under 7 BoB’s, 19 sets of bug out clothing, 3 cases of MRE’s and more commo gear than a CCT guy has access to.

The 360 lb. hero is supposedly going to first manage to avoid being perforated by the shooter, sprint through 400 screaming, crying and hysterical people, make it outside, deploy his AR pistol (don’t forget, you can’t shoulder those. *wink) and “active shooter bag,” fight the masses back inside against the flow, manage not to get shot by first responders, or taken down by a CCW’er, and go to work on the shooter before they self terminate themselves.

Stop being so stupid.

Tactical Fantasy Band Camp simply does not prepare you for operating in the totally un-sexy street clothes on your back instead of your Kryptek Highlander, with the pistol in your waistline and yourself alone as your team. In our daily lives we are not wearing all our kit, a RACK with 18 magazines and a Team Wendy Exfil. We don’t have a rifle in our back pocket in aisle 18 of the local Wally World. I can assure you asking your favorite instructor on Facebook what pants he is wearing in the latest Firelance Media photo array, will not make you more combat effective in the fight. I’m sure the ones you are wearing will work just fine.

You have what you have on you. You have your EDC. You are much more likely to be accosted in the local mall than you are by invading Soviets in the Fourteener’s of the Rocky Mountains.

Focus on the most likely, then work to the least likely. And for gods sake people, if you are a new shooter and all your gear is in the way of you learning how to shoot and manipulate your weapon, please strip all that junk off, run a mag in your back pocket and LEARN. Then add in the Ninja Force 5 accouterments.

Yes, we all should have a team. The proverbial ‘Village’ or ‘Tribe’ to fall back on for mutual assistance, division of labor, and all that good stuff. But we need to recognize the limitations and capabilities at play. Unless you live with your “team” of 6 SMU SAS Delta Seals, they will play no role in aiding you when your door is kicked in at 0300. They will not be there for you when you stop to grab a few dollars out of one of those ATM’s in the middle of a barren parking lot late after work one night and you are violently attacked and find yourself in a gun fight where your only cover is the pillars, engine block and wheels of your car while you try to reduce the threat with your Glock 42. Where was your Wonder Blaster 6000 Glock 34 with the race work, comp and RMR? Oh, too bulky and impractical to carry everyday?

You must fight with what you have on you. Hence you must train the most with what you will most likely have on you. You must be point. You must be rear security. You are flank. You are your team.

It would pay the community well to place more of an emphasis on the need to train with their pistol. Put primary focus on that until a satisfactory standard is met.

Some say there is no use in learning real pistol marksmanship, because “21 foot rule!” Shut up, stupid. Everyone is a sniper at three yards. Back away from the keyboard for a second. Stop making excuses. The average grocery store aisle in the US is about 25 yards. Are we capable of making those life or death shots with a carry gun to end a threat to our lives and families from such a distance reliably? If not, put down the damn AK-74 for just a second and run some dot torture with your carry gun. Yes, the gun you CARRY. If it’s a J-frame or mouse gun, maybe you’ll find out the capabilities of those guns and whatever drawbacks may be present with that choice.

Perhaps a good medical course makes sense to stop the bleeding of your wife who got shot in the leg. If our mindset is only “whelp, we wont have trauma surgeons in SHTF…” it will do nothing to solve the problem of your loved one bleeding out from the crazy shooter in the movie theater while waiting for LE to clear the scene to allow casualties to be treated. I would want to know how to pack that wound, seal that chest or slap on that TQ today, rather than putting my focus on a time when a trauma surgeon may be as scarce as hen’s teeth in the future and using it as an excuse to not put medical higher the training priority list.

Is the ‘prepper’ communities focus on rural patrolling and greenside work going to help us search or clear a structure when one comes home from work to find their cell phone dead and their door kicked in on their house, where their 14-year old daughter was supposed to be after school? Is a sole focus on Ranger team tactics and dynamic entry TTP’s in solving said problem going to apply to a single person trying to do the same task? If you are only with your non-gun minded wife, will she understand that your incessant asking permission by shouting “MOVING!” needs to be answered with “MOVE!” Doubtful. Practice real world communication for these situations. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Adapt. Who cares if its not ‘doctrine.’ Do what is applicable to your situation and what works. If you fail to adapt, you will fail to win.

While it is very wise and worthwhile to seek training in small unit tactics and rural patrolling, how many of the people who have done such training in the ‘patriot/prepper/III world’ actually live in an environment where they would even use it? If you live in downtown Charlotte, why in the world are you spending eight weekends a year doing rural patrolling and no other training that applies to your actual AO? How many recent insurgencies did small units operating solely in rural areas win? Was the PIRA flying a wedge formation down Main Street in Belfast in 1970? Perhaps throwing in a study of Michael Collins or The Troubles may be something to look at when considering how an unconventional war may unfold in these united States.

One of the few positives in life you can count on, is that it’s going to be dark every day. Many guys I run across say they don’t need a light on any of their guns. They must not like to see at night. They must not work at night. Or they think they are miraculously are going to pull a pair of dual tube’s out of their rear end when the Event happens and clear there their house DEVGRU style with IR lasers when they hear a bump in the night. If a tactic, manipulation or technique doesn’t work both in the day and during the night, consider using one that does. Carry a hand held light at minimum. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll use it. The Surefire Fury line is hard to beat. Use all the lumens to your advantage when needed.

Most people spend large portions of the day in their vehicles. Maybe you should learn how to work around those vehicles. Know what is cover, what is concealment, what parts cause deflection. Maybe learn some defensive driving skills. As Will Petty says the average vehicle is about 28 million grains. I’d rather use that to end a threat than 124 grains in my 19. This is purely food for thought.

Steve Fisher, formerly of Magpul Dynamics and current head of Sentinel Concepts, speaks of containers and zones. How most of our day is comprised of going from one container or zone, say our house, into another container, our car, then into another container, our work place, then to another zone, out to lunch, and so forth.

Matt Graham of Graham Combat speaks of the lines, the lights and the lanes. How we rely on the normalcy bias and the structure of the lines, lights and lanes of life. There is no normal in the fight. People are compliant, and they follow the commands of the active shooter or the oppressive state authorities without any resistance. People think fights should be fair and there must be rules. There are no rules and no fair fights in the real world.

Graham speaks of mindset being just mindset and not ‘combat mindset’ or ‘driving mindset’ or any other variation. The mindset you have in the real world driving to work must be the same mindset you have on the range or in the fight. We must grasp this concept and apply it in our current daily lives and not focus solely on spending 30K to mitigate an EMP to protect our 500$ laptops, but how to deal with much more likely scenario’s first.

Graham and Fisher are speaking truth. Most of our lives are spent in containers and and zones within those containers. Within the lights and the lanes. Where is all the home defense and shoot house classes in the preparedness world? Everyone is to busy focusing on the apocalypse instead of the all more likely situation where someone needs to search their own house to defend their family. By all means lets learn those hasty attacks, raids and break contacts, and master them, but lets just make sure we have the most likely needed skills down as well.

To echo some other writers in the community, there won’t be another 1775. The Bastille is not going to be stormed any time soon. The South is not going to rise again as Boot Licker Syndrome has enveloped the entire USSA. The final liberty solution is nowhere in sight. Live your life. Be free. Don’t be a slave. Rely on yourself and your trusted network, not the state. Instead of only focusing on such ‘line in the sand,’ history-altering events, focus on the most likely scenarios first. Develop those plans before your ‘meteor hit my backyard’ strategy. The S has already hit the F. We are in the slow downward spiral of all empires.

Old school firearms training icon Louis Awerbuck famously said “trigger reset; that’s gonna get you killed!” He was referring to the trigger management technique of pinning the trigger to the rear after firing, and holding until the recoil of the gun is over to reset the trigger. I’d submit that focusing on the apocalypse FIRST instead of the most likely threats is going to get people killed in the streets in present day. Roll with the premise that no one is coming to save you. Train for that first and foremost. Then go to Fantasy Band Camp.

Head up. Gun up.

About the author: John Meyers traces his Appalachian ancestry back nine generations to the 1750’s. He lives with his family on the high ridges of the Smoky Mountains.

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28 thoughts on “Guest Post: Apocalypse Mindset: Don’t Let It Get You Killed by John Meyers

  1. Excellent post John!

    I’ve been thinking along the same lines, “What’s actually going to happen here.” I’m up in the hills, too (Maine). I figured the first thing here would be no more government, leaving a lot of desperate people with no gravy train.

    They already consider these places in the woods to be fair game, as long as no one is home. That might ramp up some.

    Anyway, Thanks for your thoughts.

    Fred

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  3. Great post-well said.

    This…

    “The 360 lb. hero is supposedly going to first manage to avoid being perforated by the shooter, sprint through 400 screaming, crying and hysterical people, make it outside, deploy his AR pistol”

    Is a huge problem-far to many people actually believe horsepucky like that.

    Then there’s the all too common 360# issue-there will be no sprinting, unless it’s to the fridge for more food and flavored HFCS water or another cheap beer out of the 30 pack during a commercial while watching the 287″ flat screen tee-vee.

    I just don’t get all the SUT,patrolling,etc. training done in rural areas, based on doing such things in rural areas, when most of the U.S. population lives in one huge “metro” area or another.

    Medical training should come before all the patrolling and combat team tactics classes.

    So should comms.

    As you said,so should handgun training,even if it’s just “square range” punching holes in paper targets.

    So should food safety,and safely storing/cooking/serving food for large groups.

    So should having an alternate source of power-a means to generate your own electricity.

    So should basic land nav-how are people going to find their way if they are forced to leave their home in the ;burbs?It ain’t gonna be the GPS on their I-phone or galaxy7.

    I have heard quite a few people say that one-they don’t get that no power means no cell service.

    Then there’s the charging the phone issue. Too many people just don’t get that all their gadgets won’t be working and the ‘net won’t be working if there’s no power. A whole lot of people are going to be clueless if there’s any long term disruption of the power grid.

    Then there’s the fact that few people have received any training in urban “combat” tactics.

    There’s a whole list of things people need to focus on-other than adding the 43rd accessory to the rails on their AR.

    • I like your thinking Gamegetter: Patrolling in rural areas is one thing, playing sneak and peek in cities is another. Cities are great havens for professional and spur of the moment snipers. People will report your movements for a can of beans (so to speak).
      People living in ( or retreating to) rural areas need that training. Those that will be caught in the cities need other type training.

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  6. Good opinion.
    I suppose I’m lucky, there is little access to firearms here, the main threat to our family is always coming from the actions of government. So that’s an increasing financial burden or loss of basic services more than anything.

    As for weird disasters, zombie outbreaks?
    My pa summed up all the hype in simple terms.
    When you hear hooves think horses not Zebra.
    Thus setting me on a simple track.
    Can ‘exotics’ happen? Of course they can.
    Should you plan for them, for every far flung once in a life time event?

    How?

      • Ah the “lawless access to guns” bit.

        This is why for years I’ve moaned about the UK government and assorted bleeding hearts disarming the law abiding citizen making us no more than reactive targets for every scum bag in the world to practice on.

        Still when it happens again, (and sure as eggs is eggs) there will be and loads of crying ANOTHER public inquiry to “learn from the events and put new measures in place” which, as always STILL LEAVE US unable to protect ourselves.

    • Those really come down to a handful of situations, regardless of the cause. You either need to move, or not. And either way the situation outside of your immediate control is either going to be hostile in some way, or permissive.

      And it’ll all come down to beans and bullets, and having-and having enough of–both. And some of that medical training.

      Most scenarios will come down to federal or feral gangs shooting anyone in came with a long gun, so you’ll probably end up with your carry gun anyway.

  7. Great article. Thank you for posting. Barley straw for your rain barrels. Keeps them clear of algae. I’m in the same general AO as Mr. Wolf above, wish I was further north, but these are my cards, this is my hand. I will play it.

    “Perhaps throwing in a study of Michael Collins or The Troubles may be something to look at when considering how an unconventional war may unfold in these united States.”

    There are MANY you tube videos that could help us to get a more realistic view of where this nation is heading (and if you look closely, already is). Searching the following terms on you tube will provide readers with some education on sectarian civil war in modern times and the struggles of a small but dedicated rebel force against leviathan. If nothing else, it will disabuse some of the notion that this will be a great big adventure:

    Bloody Sunday, Bloody Friday, Michael Collins, Mairead Farrell, Bobby Sands, H Block, the Maze, Omagh, the Ballyseedy Massacre, Shankill Butchers, Milltown Massacre, Bandit Country South Armagh.

    Then school up on what’s become of it all since “the peace”.

    • I’m an avid student of the Irish adventures and sadly, the culmination of the divorce from the UK was a civil war where Irish socialists fought Irish socialists to impose a big and nasty homegrown version of the big and nasty UK government they had just shed.

  8. The bulk of the American White males are fat stupid and lazy. Most of those that think about “prepping” AT ALL, throw money at it and then go back to beer and NASCAR. You cannot help them. You cannot reach them, and you cannot teach them.

    They exist in a fantasy, in which they are the hero. No matter how crippled, old, fat, or out of shape. THEY will be the ones to “survive the coming ____” This is the way they cope with a fear that they cannot confront and have no ability to rectify. How many times have you read about “two years food and twenty guns and 100000 rounds and a monster truck and ____”

    But when asked what the plan is you get “survive the ZOMBIES”.

    You CANNOT FIX STUPID and maybe you should stop trying and just let Darwin work.

    • Agreed, I look at some of the preps I have seen folks have and I wonder what if your Fortress 125 Huckaboo Lane plan fails, how much can you grab and how fast and how to move any of it.

      I know asking the question opens me to the onslaught of Bug Out bags etc, but sometimes a mental exercise gut check is nice to do.

    • Your hatred for your fellow citizen is showing. I have worked around the globe for 25+ years and saw numerous societal collapses. When I read this crap laid out by the author as if he is the only person who will survive is ignorant. A society goes tribal during massive upheaval and protects neighborhoods and local areas. Many of these so called 300 lb heroes are farmers and retired people many near disability who will be supplying food and other sustenance for the populace. It makes me sad to see this drivel written and consumed as truth. The author does not have a clue as to how a society changes when upheaval occurs. God help us all.

      • What is the average tribe response time for when you walk into your house in Any Urban Town, USA, with your wife, and she is bludgeoned over the head with a fire poker by the local drug addict burglary ring?

  9. “Was the PIRA flying a wedge formation down Main Street in Belfast in 1970? “

    OK. Point taken. I’m in an urban hell. Max Velocity/John Mosby/GTG, et al teach the rural SUT, does anyone in the III community want to step up and teach Urban SERE and other skills needed when Caracas 2016 comes to an city near you?

    • ‘Max teaches rural SUT.’ Why, because my training school and classes are in the woods / fields and I can’t afford a suburban neighborhood to train you in with live fire?

      Have you trained with me? Have you been to my training site lately and seen it? Seen the CQB sites for UTM FoF and scenario role playing going up across the woods? Even without that do you understand the importance of the basics? Urban SERE? I don’t think so. I think learning to run your gun, fight, scan and be aware. Learn to move and fight as an individual and member of a team before you try and get ‘all high speed.’ Brilliance in the basics, basic levels of competence, is what you need.

      Please read this. It will explain a lot of these misunderstandings and false assumptions about the training offered:

      http://www.maxvelocitytactical.com/2016/07/holistic-tactical-preparedness/

      Thank you for your time.

      • Max, no I have not received training from you yet. Because I haven’t, I wouldn’t bad mouth or dismiss your curriculum or facility. In fact, my understanding is that the basics are universal. My comment/question was meant to accept the author’s premise and stimulate further discussion of practical tips for urban/suburban Schmoes (like me) beyond “always carry, keep your head on a swivel, and be prepared to use your carry piece ‘cuz your SCAR-H is home in the safe.”

        Maybe I misunderstood the author’s meaning.

        • What the author says is just too obvious. There are people only training for Red Dawn (usually pretty poorly) and at the other end of the spectrum there are those who dismiss that entirely and only train for EDC. Both are flawed and wrong, as is the author’s premises. What is needed is a holistic approach to tactical preparedness, as I have written about on many occasions and repeat in the linked article with a number of further links in the article itself.

          I couldn’t help, when reading the article and some of the terminology, thinking of that song “you’re so vain, you think this song is about you.” The author may be describing a subset of the prepper group, but it would be a mistake to classify offered progressive training classes at professional schools as ‘tactical fantasy bandcamp.’

          Did you read the link? My purpose here is to publish the link, not argue with you. I talk a little about this whole urban vs. rural misunderstanding in that. Please give it a read, and I urge others reading these comments to do so too.

        • Max teaches what Max teaches, and a good bit is universal in application, even while live fire training requires a mainly rural environment to host.

          But the greater point, that no one is currently doing any sort of dedicated training in an urban/sububurban-esque Hogan’s Alley before things escalate to firearms use, and that much of urban-focused training should look more like CIA tradecraft under Moscow (or Mogadischu) Rules than Ranger tactics, is a point well taken. It would also stand you in good stead in any third world environment, whether it’s travel for business, humanitarian work, vacay, or just visiting or passing through our own third-world sh*tholes like Chicongo, DC, or Detroit.

          Worthy and useful as training by Max, Mosby et al is and would be in dire extremes, the OP author’s original point is that one should and will need a vastly different focus – and skillset – moving solo or in a pair day to day, with either CCW or mandated minimal weapons carry, than what they’d be doing weapons-free as a fire team with long arms in the same circumstances, even on the same terrain.

          There’s some crossover, and some common tasks, but the comment, as the OP, underlies a glaring deficiency in both what people are preparing for, and the available training – or mindset – for same.

          Both may be necessary, and taking nothing away from team tactics, but for most of us, the urban/suburban playground of everyday, and probably solo, is far more likely to be used and needed day in and day out, without denigrating the value of being able to run and gun with a few close friends when called upon.

          And calling out the unrealistic Walter Mittys who can’t see both sides of that does no harm, and may possibly do the brighter and introspective ones some good.

          The other ones will just be supply points for everyone else anyways, sooner or later.

        • The Irish rebellion was a suit and tie affair where platoon minus ops were conducted in the city in gray-man regalia b/c camo or the mil uniform of the day would not have achieved the aims of the Irish resistors at the time.

          This is not about who offers the best classes or training, this is about properly assessing mission profiles that fit your environment and capabilities that are likely and slide slight to the left of bang on the worst case scenarios.

          You may have all the current Kryptek kit, Kitanicas, NODs and 3k M4 clones with very expensive optics but know this: the government owns CQB in built up areas.

          The man who comes to the fight with a 110 year old Lee-Enfield that he knows intimately and knows what he is about is far more deadly than any top-grade kit that is not only new in box and untarnished but is in the hands of a man who thinks PCI is a circuit card and rehearsal involves a stage.

          There is no Max hate here and I consider him a friend. I haven’t been to his courses not because I can’t learn from him but time has not been on my side. Between 20013 and 2015, I spent 22 months in AFG.

      • I have never been to Max’ training but I have spent a few days in two way ranges and neo-imperialist shit-pits planet-wide. Max is the real deal and will train SUT to a standard for lightfighters not found outside the Army/USMC.

        Max will offer you conscious competence, you simply have to step it up to the unconscious level on your own dime and time.

  10. Bottom line: you need to know how to defend yourself. With your hands, with tools, with pistol and rifle! Only the aggressor gets to pick the when and where. Take advantage of all of the top notch training available to become as dangerous as you can to anyone that wishes to do harm to you or your family. Take CTT, ECQC, bjj…don’t leave any gaps.

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