How Teletubbies Teach Toddlers

by Berit Kjos -1999

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"I believe television and video are the most underestimated force for good in educating our children in the technological age in which we live. It is important to develop children’s thinking skills."1 (Anne Wood, Teletubby creator, BBC)

"The challenge to humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, new ways of acting, new ways of organizing itself in society -- in short, new ways of living."2 (Our Creative Diversity, UNESCO)

"Young people like magical alternate realities; and the entertainment industry profits by providing amusement parks, videogames, movies, and television programs that build on this fascination. Educators too can profit, in a different way, by building eerily beautiful environments for sensory immersion that arouse curiosity and empower shared fantasy, leading to guided inquiry. If we forswear distributed learning based on mystery, intrigue, and 'edutainment,' we risk losing the generation growing up with high-performance computing and communications to the mindless mercies of videogames." ("The Transformation of Distance Learning to Distributed Learning")

"Time for Teletubbies. Time for Teletubbies…."

At the sound of the familiar call, toddlers around the world scamper to their television sets for 30 minutes of simple play, enchantment, and learning. They smile with the baby-faced sun rising in the sky and laugh at four chubby Teletubbies popping out of their under-ground home. When the magic windmill spins its sparkly beams, they share the excitement of a daily mystery: Which tummy-screen will light up and broadcast a short TV clip?

This simple but captivating Teletubby world is full of pretty flowers, lively rabbits, warm hugs, bumping tummies, and high tech marvels – but glaringly devoid of parental love and guidance. Instead, a mystical periscope (the Voice Trumpet) arises from the ground to emit friendly directions when needed. A large toaster makes tubby toast, while a tubby-sized machine spurts tubby custard. A magic vacuum cleaner called Noo-Noo cleans up the mess. And the Teletubbies are perfectly happy!

But who are these captivating, big-eyed creatures with television screens on their tummies (that's why they are called Teletubbies) and antennas on their heads? Why do toddlers love them so much?

"They are not human," argued their adult fans and the mainstream media during last year’s controversy over Tinky-Winky’s triangular antenna. "It’s absurd to criticize their gender. They’re fantasy creatures, not boys, girls, homosexuals, or toddlers."

That’s not what Anne Wood, their creator at BBC (British Broadcasting Co.) tells us. "They are babies," she explains. "… technological babies…. Like children, they also imitate what they hear, so they will attempt to speak like the Narrator and sometimes like the Voice Trumpets."3

Others have likened the Teletubbies to aliens, to fetuses, and to mythical half-human, half-animal creatures – albeit a cuter, more modern version. But what counts is their message, not their looks. What do they teach their little fans? What do those four antennas on their heads symbolize? Why do they wear television screens on their tummies? Why don't mommies and daddies take care of these baby look-alikes? Why does the sun wear the face of a baby? And finally, how does the teletubby program fit into the global agenda for "lifelong learning"?

1. What do they teach?

"…children are the same the world over," says scriptwriter Andy Davenport. "They grow, they learn language, they learn to talk, to think the same, wherever they grow up."4

If, as BBC (British Broadcasting Company) claims, small children around the world watch this show, they certainly will learn "to think the same" – a major goal of UNESCO’s program for "lifelong learning" [click also on "next slide"]. This cradle



 to grave process of training human resources for the global village needs and has the support of America's PBS as well as BBC. Both help children to imitate their idols – four soft, roly-poly creatures played by real people. These actors have been trained to talk like toddlers, run like toddlers, eat like toddlers, and swing to music like toddlers. That’s to help real toddlers love them, follow them, feel at home with them – and, don’t forget, learn from them.

One of the lessons involves self-sufficiency (separation from parents, but not from peers) within a high-tech world. If that's hard to believe, hear it from PBS, which has adapted the show for the American audience: "In 'Teletubbies,' the technological world becomes engaging, playful and, most of all, manageable by the young child. The play technology that hums through Teletubbyland also supplies the Teletubbies' every need - Tubby Toast, Tubby Custard, and the conscientious care and support of the comic vacuum cleaner, Noo-noo."5 No need for parents or grandparents!

This philosophy matches that of Professor John Goodlad, who served on the governing board of UNESCO’s Institute for Education before he joined Bill Clinton on the 1987 Study Commission on Global Education. In his Preface to Schooling for a Global Age, he wrote,

"Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now. Education is a long-term solution.... The majority of our youth still hold the same values as their parents and, if we don’t re-socialize, our system will decay."6

The Teletubbies may be fantasy creatures, romping in a fantasy world. But toddlers pick up cues fairly indiscriminately from both fantasy worlds and the real world. They don’t know enough about reality to separate the two. So they are ready and eager to believe and assimilate the cues they receive. There are plenty of questionable messages. Take a look at some of them from a child’s perspective.


From Teletubby toy Mega Bloks

2. What does the baby-faced sun tell toddlers?

The sun rises from behind the flowery green hills each morning, and shines happily on the teletubby world all day. It sinks back at the end of each day. Sounds a bit like the real sun, doesn’t it?

But wait, this sun is also a living creature with a congenial personality. Its pretty, blue-eyed baby face giggles when the Teletubbies play happily together and do nice, expected things. It often frowns when a teletubby is separated from the rest or does something unexpected.

That sounds innocent enough. What could be wrong with a happy face framed in the sun’s bright rays? Could this feel-good image be anything more than simple, whimsical fantasy? Nobody would take it seriously, would they?

Probably not. But that's part of the problem. Children fill their minds with images that represent the new global paradigm, and few take either message or the effects seriously. But leading educators who call themselves "change agents" are dead serious about the visual tactics they use to reach their goal. They seek to mold minds that embrace the new global paradigm (worldview) and reject the old Christian paradigm. "The purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students," admits Dr. Benjamin Bloom, the "Father of Outcome-Based Education, in his book, All Our Children Learning."7

Bloom and his followers have come a long way. Suddenly earth-centered spirituality – with its sun-gods, nature spirits, and occult rituals from around the world – has become the favored model for the new sustainable communities. This new ideology is reinforced through today's movies, television, books, and schools. As a result, most children face an irresistible array of pagan images that support the new paradigm. Many already consider paganism far more normal and acceptable than Christianity.

Our political, education, and media leaders want to introduce these influences early -- before children become "indoctrinated" with Biblical truths. (See "Clinton’s War on Hate Bans Christian Values"). They know that if parents follow God's command to "train up your child in the way he should go," their children might not start school with the "open-mindedness" needed to create social solidarity. Biblical values would stand in the way. Therefore "early childhood education" has moved to the forefront of the "lifelong learning" agenda.

America's PBS and its British partner, BBC, fit right into the international program for pre-school education. Their words as well as their programs show their desire to introduce small children to new images and "thinking skills so that [they] will be ready for more formal training."8 In the context of the new education outcomes, that means opening young minds to global beliefs and values. The Teletubby world is their best attempt to touch pre-schoolers with the seeds of the new ideology.

The envisioned global spirituality blends the world’s earth-centered religions into a more universal belief system. Both major and minor civilizations through history – Egyptian, Hittite, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, Mayan, Celtic, etc. -- worshipped sun gods that watched the earth and mingled with humans. These man-made gods shared human characteristics and responded to human activities with favor or anger, according to man’s compliance with their self-centered standards. In other words, men and women had created gods in their own image.9

Those old sun-gods have now been revised to fit today's demand for kinder, more permissive gods -- gods that appeal to pre- and grade-school children. Look at some of contemporary lessons:

Winter Solstice: On December 19, 1991, a public elementary school in Portland, Oregon, replaced the traditional Christmas party with a Solstice festival. Their printed program, titled "Celebrate the Return of the Light," pictured the Sun God and Moon Goddess. Ponder the events listed in the program:

* Each [student] will partake of the sun and moon cake before entering the auditorium where they will seat themselves according to their astrological signs. Chanting will begin on entering the auditorium.
* The Sun God and Moon Goddess will enter with attendants...
* Dancers and Drummers: [lists participants followed]
* Bar Code Children and Animal Spirits
* Dancing in a circle all together... [with] whooping and hugs all around!

Summer Olympics in Atlanta, 1996: Those who watched the opening ceremony saw five "Olympic spirits" wrapped in silvery cloth and masked as sun gods rising out of the earth. Representing the five regions and colors of the world, they writhed like serpents while chanting mystical, incomprehensible invocations to "summon the tribes" of the world. Moments later, five hundred tribes-people streamed into the arena. After a frenzied dance to the beat of a percussion arrangement by Mickey Hart, a "Grateful Dead" drummer, the color-coded groups formed the five interlocking rings of the Olympic symbol, welcoming the "the global family" to celebrate the renewal of the Olympic dream.

School Assignment: A fourth grader brought home a worksheet with this story titled "When The Sun Went Away." It told about a Japanese sun goddess and her brother, the god of night. The people loved the goddess who made the crops grow and the trees bloom. But they feared the god of night, who "brought evil spirits to harm the land." Naturally, he began to envy his sister.

"One day when the sun goddess was sitting in her temple, the god of night crept in with a big bag. When he opened the bag, a huge snake crawled out and coiled itself around the sun goddess' chair. She was so frightened that she ran into a cave and would not come out at all. Now the earth was always dark. ….

"So the people gathered at the cave. They beat drums, rang bells, and sang. The goddess heard the noise and became curious. Finally she crept to the mouth of the cave…. The earth became bright again, and the people danced for joy. When the god of night saw how happy the people were, he felt bad for having frightened his sister. And he promised never to do it again."

Celebrating the Sacred Feminine: The above story was also told at a conference on feminist spirituality at the Grace [Episcopal] Cathedral in San Francisco. But the ending had changed. Harmony between the sun goddess and the evil male god would have been inappropriate. The new story fit the feminist demand for self-esteem and self-deification. So this time the sun goddess won over her own fear by looking into a mirror and delighting in her own glorious image.

 "The Sun"
A Tarot card
used for
divination. 10
 The 4th chakra in a Theosophical adaption of Kundalina yoga. 11  Detail from an Alchemist image of the all-seeing sun watching over the Philosopher's Stone. 12  Part of an 18th century
symbolic Masonic
painting. 13
 Book ad in Mystic Trader, a catalog full of occult signs, symbols and suggestions. 14 Harry Potter creator, J.K. Rowling's mirror brings her own image into the sun frame.15

Look again at the picture on the far right. This mirror was pictured in a Time Magazine article about the Harry Potter books. In the photograph, Ms. Rowling sat next to a large gray gargoyle with her back to the mirror. It's possible that she didn't attach any spiritual significance to this representation of the sun -- one that would carry the image of whoever gazed at it. But whether she was consciously aware or not, her mirror fits today's feminist quest to "re-imagine God" in one's own image. No one illustrates this pursuit better than Patricia Lynn Reilly who told me she was "born again" as a Christian. Her book title says it all: A God that Looks Like Me -- Discovering a Woman's Self-Affirming Spirituality. Even toddlers can absorb the subtle message behind a transcendent god-like sun that sees, giggles and smiles -- just like them.

In today’s climate, any cultural myth is open game for expedient revisions. Since few children now learn the old foundational facts of history, most will never know what is true or false. They won't even know whether the myths they read represent the original culture or have been adapted for today's agenda. A child's primary mental filter will be his or her feelings. Those emotions are being molded and trained through stories and images they learn to love -- or hate. The Teletubbies, Pokemon, Harry Potter books, and countless other politically correct myths, games, and films support the global program for universal behavior modification. (See Mind Control)

3. What do those antennas on the four teletubby heads symbolize?

First, look at these official descriptions, for each teletubby's character fits his or her antenna:

"Po is the smallest Teletubby. She often jumps up and down to express her feelings of joy, enthusiasm, and surprise. The natural place for Po is to be on her scooter zipping around the hills. She makes the noise 'quickly, quickly, quickly' or 'slowly, slowly, slowly' when riding her scooter. Po spends a lot of time on her own. Next to riding her scooter, Po likes to keep an eye on the panel switches and controls on the central column inside the Teletubbies' house."

"Laa-Laa is the second smallest Teletubby. She is the happiest and most smiley of the Teletubbies. She too loves to sing and dance. Her favorite word is 'nice'. Laa-Laa loves the way her ball bounces and wobbles and grows bigger and smaller. Laa-Laa always likes to know where all of the Teletubbies are. She has her own special La-la-la-la-la song."

"Dipsy is the second biggest Teletubby. He is known for his distinctive steps and ways of saying 'hello'. He loves his hat very much. Dipsy sings a song with a reggae beat and when he is feeling 'especially cool' will go for a walk by himself, wearing his hat and singing the song."

"Tinky Winky is the biggest Teletubby. He is the gentlest of the Teletubbies. His favorite thing is his bag, which he likes to take out with him for walks. He usually sings his song 'Tinky Winky'. He loves to dance and fall over on his back. Tinky Winky loves all of the Teletubbies, and his best friend is Po, the smallest one."

In fact, Tinky Winky loves wearing a lacy white ballet skirt when he dances. Dipsy, the slightly smaller male, does not. When pressured to wear the same skirt, he tears it off and runs away.

Dipsy's hat has no top, otherwise it wouldn't fit over his antenna. But Dipsy really loves that hat. You can tell by the song he made up: Hat, hat haaat,Hat, hat haaat, Hat, hat haaat hat.(repeat)

The symbols in the show, like the letters in the alphabet, have meanings. They communicate a message. Familiar symbols may summarize and send messages more quickly and effectively than words. And since visual images tend to bypass the critical scrutiny that words provoke, they serve as tools for transformation in the hands of today’s change agents.

"There is growing excitement among educators about old myths and symbols, oral history, earth festivals, primitive rites of passage and customs, extraordinary abilities documented in cultures less linear than our own," wrote Marilyn Ferguson in her 1980 blueprint for change, The Aquarian Conspiracy. She had already explained how tomorrow’s children must learn a new perception of reality. In fact, their minds must be so steeped in this new paradigm that their intuitive response to the old ways would be instant rejection.

"The dictionary defines intuition as ‘quick perception of truth without conscious attention or reasoning," Ferguson explains. Training the intuition to fit the new paradigm is simple. Make symbols and their evolving and politically correct meanings more fun and familiar than the home taught words, values, and meanings. To speed the process, children would be surrounded by symbols that send the right message and affirm the new way of thinking.

Po's antenna is a CIRCLE: An ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, and the goddess, it also represents the feminine spirit or force, a spiritualized Mother Earth, and a sacred space. To contemporary pagans and radical feminists, it is "one of the primary feminine signs, as opposed to the line or phallic shaft representing the masculine spirit."1
  Dipsy's antenna is a ROD: Earth-centered cultures around the world have worshipped a phallic rod or pillar as symbol of male power to bring the seed of new life to the earth. Hindu worshippers called it a "lingam," Egyptians called it an obelisk. According to 2 Kings 17:9-10, God’s people "set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill…." In the old Celtic fertility rituals called Beltane or May Day (Walpurgisnacht to the Teutons) -- which is now being revived and adapted for modern times by contemporary pagans -- the May pole symbolized male power and fertility.
.Laa Laa's antenna is a SPIRAL (see also a circle) and ROD: Ancient symbol of the goddess, the womb, fertility, feminine serpent force, continual change, and the evolution of the universe. Notice how the spiral (female) and the rod (male) are combined in La-La’s antenna. (Because the spiral has become such a popluar symbol, we plan provide a link to a page full of interesting spirals.)
  Tinky-Winky's antenna is a TRIANGLE pointing down: The triangle in its multiple forms has been pictured in symbols and rituals around the world, from European alchemy to the sexual rites of Tantric Buddhism. Pointing up, it has represented the Trinity to Christians. Pointing down it has represented the female womb. More recently, many members of the homosexual community has claimed this symbol -- along with the color purple -- as their own. However, lesbians generally identify with a pink rather than purple triangle.

Of course, all these symbols -- the circle, rod, spiral, and triangle pointing down -- are simple shapes that occur in nature as well as in the minds and beliefs of people. Apart from a particular ideology, they have little cultural significance. But when shown in the context of the global education agenda, they are no longer neutral. Many of today's influential leaders have embraced these symbols as wordless representations that point to certain beliefs. They have given them meanings that match the new global spirituality and promote an anti-Christian global ethic. In our pluralistic society, this process of communicating visual messages through symbols, images, and impressions has been replacing the factual and logical communication using the alphabet. It makes school easier and more fun. Few realize the consequence of eroding the old foundations for truth, history, science and progress. (See symbols)

4. How do the teletubbies fit into the global agenda for lifelong learning?

UNESCO introduced the concept of "lifelong learning" back in 1973. This lifelong process of socialization would start soon after birth with community training sessions for parents. From cradle to grave, human resources would be trained and conformed to the new global society, then assessed for their worth to the global community and monitored for compliance with the new pluralistic beliefs and values. (See The UN Plan for Your Mental Health)

As you have seen, early childhood education is essential to this plan. Children must be raised in an environment that encourages them to absorb multicultural attitudes, including a broader view of sex and gender issues, before parents and pastors "close" their minds with Biblical views of right and wrong. Otherwise home-taught Christian values could encourage resistance to the consensus process and to the planned solidarity.

At the 1995 UN Conference on Women in Beijing, the liberal delegations from Canada, the U.S., and European Union sought approval of their concept of gender. Many saw five distinct kinds: male and female heterosexuals, male and female homosexuals, and trans- or bisexuals. Gone was God's view of gender: "He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female.'" (Matthew 19:4)


At the Beijing Conference, traditional values were equated with hate and violence. "We strive to eliminate economic, political, domestic, cultural, environmental, religious and sexual violence against women,"16 announced the Anglican Women's Network.

This hostility toward traditional values seethed through the many discussions of sex, gender, and reproductive rights. It shut out the more pressing and global concerns: hunger, illness, drought and violence. Yet, Western delegates seemed focused on their feminist issues. Why?

"We intend to fight like mad for all we want," said Donna Shalala, the leader of the U.S. delegation and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. "There is extensive opposition to sexual orientation . . . we have had opposition on other issues. . . but we shall overcome them."17

Feminist leaders had planned their offensive long before they came to Beijing. At the "PrepCom" (Preparatory Committee meeting) they discussed the meaning of the word "gender." Mentioned 216 times in the pre-conference Platform for Action adopted at their meeting, it was defined as a "socially constructed" role, not a biological fact. "Gender," they said, "indicates that sex roles and behaviors are artificially constructed and freely chosen."18

Do you see how this reasoning fits feminist goals? Lesbians win sympathy for their cause by blaming those "socially constructed" gender roles on male oppression. This frees them to spread their message through public education (formal and informal, such as public television) and increase their number. The larger their number, the greater their political strength. No wonder they have been fighting hard to gain access to the world's children through sex education and "gender-sensitive" classroom lessons.

"We will not be forced back to the 'biology is destiny' concept," thundered Bella Abzug, the late "feminist warhorse" who, for decades, led the global sisterhood of feminist activist. It's not surprising that she also promoted goddess worship in place of the hated "patriarchal" church culture.19

Mandatory lifelong learning is the planned solution to this gender controversy. The Teletubbies provide a good start.

5. Why do they wear television screens on the tummies?

Part of the answer lies in this statement from the PBS teletubby website:

"If we can show children at an early age that television isn't something that should just wash over them, but something you should question, play with, challenge, have fun with - then we're preparing them for the interactive use of media that will be their world when they grow up."

BBC has big plans for interactive digitized television programs that will be integrated into home computers. A large number of global interactive education programs are preparing programs that will teach, assess, monitor, and remediate human resources around the world. 20 Everyone will be part of the new global tracking system.21 The positive spin on this new technology is presented by BBC in its report on The Changing World. For the real purpose of visually oriented interactive learning programs, read The UN Plan for Your Mental Health.

When each child is linked to his or her individual computer program, the dissemination of politically correct "information" and the gathering of personal data for individual personality profiles can be accelerated and controlled. Dustin Heuston of Utah's World Institute for Computer-Assisted Teaching (WICAT) shares his delight in the power of this interactive technology:

"We've been absolutely staggered by realizing that the computer has the capability to act as if it were ten of the top psychologists working with one student. You've seen the tip of the iceberg. Won't it be wonderful when the child in the smallest county in the most distant area or in the most confused urban setting can have the equivalent of the finest school in the world on that terminal and no one can get between that child and that computer?"22

"But what does all this have to do with a simple teletubby show?" you might ask. A lot, actually! And the goal is to accomplish the cultural shift with the consent of the people. That means cloaking the tactics for change in normal, pleasant activities that few would dare criticize. If this is hard to believe, read about "edutainment" and other aspects of the worldwide plans for synthetic learning environments. As Professor Raymond Houghton wrote in an NEA publication in the seventies:

"The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will not even know that it is about to happen." 23

Not only do parents need to see how a global children's program fits into the big picture and long-term plan. They need to realize how our children's minds are being manipulated through "fun" images and strategic imaginary experiences, then resist the process with love, truth and logic. God’s Word provides some helpful guidelines:

Know the Truth: Colossians 3:16
Don’t be deceived: Colossians 2:8
Follow the Shepherd: Psalm 23
Don’t be conformed to the world: Romans 12:2
Be prepared to face persecution: John 15:20-21
Don’t heed ungodly counsel: Psalm 1:1-2
Trust God to be your guide: Psalm 25:4-5

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ...." (2 Corinthians 2:14)


1. The BBC education page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/teletubbies/information/pressrelease/childsplay.shtml

2.Our Creative Diversity, UNESCO, 1995, p.11.

3. The BBC education page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/teletubbies/information/faq/q6.shtml

4. The BBC education page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/teletubbies/information/faq/q1.shtml

5. The PBS Teletubbies page: http://www.pbs.org/teletubbies

6.John Goodlad, Preface to Schooling for a Global Age, edited by James Becker (New York: McGraw Hill, 1979). Goodlad was a member of the Board of Directors of Global Perspectives in Education, Inc., based in NY. According to Dr. Dennis Cuddy, Schooling for a Global Age is part of a series of books published under the auspices of the Institute for Development of Educational Activities (IDEA) and supported by the National Institute of Education, the U.S. Office of Education, the Rockefeller Foundation. For more information about the education partnership between UNESCO and the U.S., read Brave New Schools.

7. Benjamin Bloom, All Our Children Learning (New York: McGraw- Hill, 1981); 180.

8. The BBC education page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/teletubbies/information/pressrelease/childsplay.shtml

9. See Psalm 50:21.

10. James Wasserman, Art and Symbols of the Occult (Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1993), page 112.

11. Ibid., page 44.

12. David Fontana, The Secret Language of Symbols (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1993), page 148.

13. Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects (Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1989), page 88.

14. Mystic Trader Catalog.

15. Paul Gray, "Wild About Harry," Time (September 20, 1999); page 72.

16. Diane Knippers, "Power!" (November/December 1995); 10.

17. Donna Shalala's answer to a question posed by a reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle, September 11, 1995. She was referring to item #48 in the Platform for Action. Cited by Family Concerns Representative Nancy Shaefer in her conference report, page 12. For a more complete report on the UN Conference in Beijing, read chapter 9 in A Twist of Faith.

18. Frederica Mathewes-Green, "The Gender Agenda," 1995 Religion News Service, August 22, 1995.

19. Ibid.

20.Websites that promote interactive classroom technology: http://www.worldbank.org/worldlinks/english/html/m-e.html * http://www.usq.edu.au/users/campbede/globaled.html * http://www.iste.org/ * http://www.sri.com/policy/ctl/html/world.htm (See also an unfinished report on human resource development)

21.See * http://mediafilter.org/CAQ/CAQ59GLOBALSNOOP.HTML * http://www.worldnetdaily.com/bluesky_btl/19990831_xcbtl_the_latest.shtml * http://www.farshore.force9.co.uk/listen.htm * No Place to Hide * Human Capital for the Global Village.

22. Dustin H. Heuston, "Discussion--Developing the Potential of an Amazing Tool," Schooling and Technology, Vol. 3, Planning for the Future: A Collaborative Model (Southeastern Regional Council for Educational Improvement), p. 8.

23. Raymond Houghton, To Nurture Humaneness: Commitment for the ‘70’s (The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development of the NEA, 1970).

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