Having cornered the central banker market, with its alumni manning key positions at most central banks, Goldman has decided to tip its cards into its next zone of interest: geopolitics, and has done so by hiring none other than the former head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker’s predecessor and one-time Nigel Farage nemesis, Jose Manuel Barroso as an advisor and non-executive chairman of its international business.
Barroso served as president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, from 2004 to 2014 and was prime minister of Portugal from 2002 to 2004.
According to Reuters, Goldman and other banks “are seen as particularly vulnerable to Brexit since they rely on the EU’s “passporting” regime that allows them to offer services across the bloc while basing most of their staff and operations in the UK. Banks have warned that if their British outposts lose their “passports” they will have to move some employees and business units to alternative bases in the EU.” Whether this means that Goldman is merely seeking an influential lobbying voice when it comes to getting an exemption from a post-Brexit fallout, or is simply seeking to expand its influence over all of Europe, remains unclear. After all it is not as if Goldman’s European ambitions are unknown. As we have shown before, Goldman is already the undisputed “Master of the Eurozone” courtesy of strategy placements in all key decision-making venues.
Goldman Sachs International, which Barroso will chair, is headquartered in London and of its roughly 6,000 staff fewer than 1,000 are based outside Britain.
Barroso is credited with helping the euro zone survive the 2009-13 debt crisis by establishing a financial rescue fund, enacting stricter budget rules and tightening financial regulation. He was also a signatory to the Lisbon Treaty that revamped the bloc’s complex institutions after French and Dutch voters rejected a European constitution.
Barroso will help the firm as it advises clients on dealing with the ensuing “challenging and uncertain economic and market environment,” Goldman Sachs International co-chiefs Michael Sherwood and Richard Gnodde said in the statement.
Goldman’s full press release is below:
Goldman Sachs International today announced the appointment of José Manuel Barroso as non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International (GSI). He will also be an advisor to Goldman Sachs.
José Manuel served as president of the European Commission from 2004 to 2014, and as prime minister of Portugal from 2002 to 2004. His perspective, judgment and counsel will add great value to our GSI Board of Directors, Goldman Sachs, our shareholders and our people.
Having first been elected to the Portuguese Parliament in 1985, José Manuel served as state secretary for home affairs, state secretary for foreign affairs and cooperation, and minister for foreign affairs in successive governments. In 1999, he was elected president of the Social Democratic Party and became the leader of the opposition. Prior to his political career, José Manuel’s academic positions included visiting professor at Georgetown University. Most recently, he was Frederick H. Schultz Class of 1951 visiting professor of International Economic Policy and a policy fellow at the Liechtenstein Institute, Woodrow Wilson School, at Princeton University. He is also visiting professor at the Catolica University in Lisbon and at the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International Relations in the same city.
José Manuel has been awarded numerous honorary degrees and has received more than 60 decorations, prizes and honors, including Portugal’s Gra-Cruz da Ordem Militar de Cristo and Grande Colar da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique.
European President José Manuel Barroso. Freemason Recognition Handsign ‘Gesture’.
The cardinal said the best response was to fortify the Christian foundation of our societies
Cardinal Raymond Burke has said there is “no question that Islam wants to govern the world”, and that Western societies should return to their Christian roots.
Speaking to David Gibson of Religion News Service, Cardinal Burke, the patron of the Order of Malta, said Muslims were “lovely people” who themselves talked about religion “in a very peaceful manner”.
But he said too few people understood the tradition of Islamic thought on government: that, when Muslims became a majority population, “they have the religious obligation to govern that country. If that’s what the citizens of a nation want, well, then, they should just allow this to go on. But if that’s not what they want, then they have to find a way to deal with it.”
Cardinal Burke said that, for anyone “not at peace with the idea of being under an Islamic government”, it was reasonable to be “afraid” of such a prospect.
The cardinal was speaking ahead of the publication of a new book, Hope for the World: To Unite All Things in Christ. Like books by Pope Francis and Benedict XVI, and God or Nothing by Cardinal Robert Sarah, the book takes the form of an extended interview. The interviewer is Guillaume d’Alançon, a writer who also works for a French diocese.
In the book, Cardinal Burke says: “Islam is a religion that, according to its own interpretation, must also become the State. The Koran, and the authentic interpretations of it given by various experts in Koranic law, is destined to govern the world.
“In reality, there is no place for other religions, even though they may be tolerated, as long as Islam has not succeeded in establishing its sovereignty over the nations and over the world.”
The cardinal says that Islam and Christianity are radically different. In the interview with Gibson, he says that Church leaders are mistaken if they “simply think that Islam is a religion like the Catholic faith or the Jewish faith”, rather than recognising its ambitions to govern.
He argues that tolerance is a feature of Christian charity, and that the right response is “to be firm about the Christian origin of our own nation, and certainly in Europe, and the Christian foundations of the government, and to fortify those”.
Cardinal Burke has made similar comments in the past. In 2014, he told the newspaper Una Voce Austria that “the Muslim life is taking over in countries which were formerly Christian”, partly thanks to high birthrate.
Last year, the cardinal said in an interview with a French newspaper: “we must remember that Islam is a government, not just a religion”.
Israel continues to interact with Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights and allow them to cross the border, according to a new UN report corroborated by a VICE News team that visited the area in November, uncovering additional incidents beyond what has been described by the UN.
Israel has occupied the Golan Heights since the Six-Day War in 1967, when it captured it from Syria. In 1974, a UN peacekeeping mission, known as UNDOF, was established to police a 50-mile-long disengagement zone between the Israeli “Alpha” and Syrian “Bravo” lines. At the disengagement zone’s narrowest southern points, the distance between the two lines can be less than a kilometer.
A report by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon that was delivered to the Security Council earlier this week describes several incidents that brought Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in contact with rebels. On October 27, UN peacekeepers observed IDF soldiers opening a gate and allowing two individuals to pass from the Syrian Bravo line into the Israeli Alpha side.
Israel maintains it only allows entrance to the wounded on humanitarian grounds, however the UN did not indicate that the two were injured in any way, and said they appeared to have crossed into the Israeli side under their own power.
In August of this year, rebels captured several important border crossings, effectively rendering the disengagement zone obsolete in some places. Fighting in parts of the zone has seen shells land inside Israel, and the IDF has retaliated with fire over the border. In September, Israel shot down a Syrian air force plane it claimed had veered across the Alpha line. In his report, Ban said UN personnel did not observe the plane cross into the area of separation or Israeli controlled territory, and noted that the plane crashed on the Syrian “Bravo side.”
On August 28, al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al Nusra captured 45 Fijian peacekeepers and trapped 72 Filipino troops at another location. After a firefight with rebels, all the Filipino peacekeepers were able to escape. On September 11, al Nusra released the Fijians. Following the incidents, UNDOF relocated most of their personnel to Israeli-controlled territory to the west of the Alpha line.
In his report delivered this week, Ban reported that after the evacuation, UNDOF personnel “sporadically observed armed members of the opposition interacting with IDF across the ceasefire line.”
Ban also reported that during the UN’s retreat, peacekeepers were unable to secure all of their “assets and equipment.” Left behind, those materials likely fell into the hands of the al Nusra fighters that control parts of the disengagement zone.
In November, VICE News sent a video team to the Golan Heights where they witnessed and recorded occurrences similar to those outlined by the UN. The team saw IDF soldiers treating wounded Syrian fighters along the border. Though VICE News could not confirm the affiliation of the fighters, some of the rebels being treated by Israel had long hair, a characteristic that is associated with members of the al Nusra Front.
Once the patients were stabilized, Israeli forces moved them to hospitals outside of the Golan Heights and inside Israel proper. At one hospital, VICE News spoke with a patient who identified himself as a member of the Free Syrian Army. He said that after recovering he hoped to return to fight in Syria. The Free Syrian Army is reportedly cooperating with al Nusra in parts of the Golan Heights.
Ban’s report is only the latest to describe the transfer of wounded individuals from Syria to Israeli-controlled territory. In a December 2013 report, the UN said it had had observed “at least 10 wounded persons being transferred by armed members of the opposition from the Bravo side across the ceasefire line to the IDF.” The reports, issued every three months, are filled with similar accounts. Some of those who cross into Israel are local shepherds and civilians fleeing shelling, but the UN’s reports clearly indicate contact and coordination between the IDF and Syrian rebels.
In a June report, the UN said it witnessed “IDF on the Alpha side handing over two boxes to armed members of the opposition on the Bravo side.” It remains unclear what was inside the boxes.
The Syrian government has complained about what it considers to be an Israeli attempt to coordinate against their military and run the UN out of the disengagement area. The presence of peacekeepers in the Golan Heights has long served as a reminder that the international community still considers the annexed territory part of Syria.
“Israel is most interested in having peacekeepers evacuated from the occupied Golan so as to be left without international monitoring,” Syrian ambassador to the UN Bashar al Jaafari told reporters in September.
On Sunday, Syria accused Israel of bombing sites outside of Damascus, including one near the Syrian capital’s international airport.
“This aggression demonstrates Israel’s direct involvement in supporting terrorism in Syria along with well-known regional and Western countries to raise the morale of terrorist groups, mainly the Nusra Front,” the Syrian military said in a statement published on the government press agency SANA’s website.
Meanwhile, UNDORF’s numbers are dwindling. In September, the Philippines withdrew their 344 peacekeepers — a full quarter of the UN’s presence — from the mission. As of early November, only 929 troops from Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal, and the Netherlands remain.
VICE News reporters Simon Ostrovsky and Andrew Glazer contributed to this report.
Follow Samuel Oakford on Twitter: @SamuelOakford
TOPICS: middle east, war & conflict, syria, israel, golan heights, un, un peacekeepers, jabhat al-nusra, free syrian army, al nusra front
The Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, has released a grateful video, where they openly thank the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which the US has touted as a “moderate opposition group”, for supplying them with US-made anti-tank TOW missiles (“Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided”).
A recently released video shows an Al-Nusra Front field commander thanking the FSA commanders for giving his forces TOW missiles, according to a report released by the Iranian news agency FARS.
The agency reminds readers that the two groups, the Al-Nusra and the FSA, formed an alliance in March, the Army of Conquest, or Jaish al-Fatah in Arabic, to fight against the forces of President Assad.
Since then, they have fought together “at almost every single battle in Aleppo, Lattakia, Hama, and Idlib Governorates of Syria.”
Through this alliance several militant groups like the Al-Nusra Front and the Ahrar al-Sham movement have been given access to FSA’s US-made heavy weaponry, which has been supplied to the militant group by the US, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
According to the agency’s estimates, Saudi Arabia sent 500 TOW missiles to Al-Nusra directly last month.
The US, however, claims that it is just supplying aid and weapons to FSA or the so-called moderate militant groups in Syria.
The BGM-71 TOW is one of the most widely-used guided anti-tank missiles. The weapon is used in anti-armor, anti-bunker, anti-fortification and anti-amphibious landing roles.
TOW missiles are used by the armed forces of more than 40 countries and are integrated in over 15,000 ground, vehicle and helicopter platforms worldwide.
In this UK Column News special, Mike Robinson speaks to Vanessa Beeley about Syria’s “first responder” group, the White Helmets who are being pushed forward for nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize. Do they deserve it?
The White Helmets were established in March 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey, and is headed by James Le Mesurier, a British “security” specialist and ‘ex’ British military intelligence officer with an impressive track record in some of the most dubious NATO intervention theatres including Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. Le Mesurier is a product of Britain’s elite Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and has also been placed in a series of high-profile pasts at the United Nations, European Union, and U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The origins of The White Helmet’s initial $300k seed funding is a little hazy, reports are contradictory but subsequent information leads us to conclude that the UK, US and the ‘Syrian Opposition’ [or Syrian National Council, parallel government backed an funded by the US, UK and allies] are connected. Logistical support has been provided and given by Turkish elite natural disaster response team, AKUT.
A further $13 million was poured into the White Helmet coffers during 2013 and this is where it gets interesting. Early reports suggest that these “donations” came from the US, UK and SNC with the previously explored connections to George Soros in the US.
However, subsequent investigations reveal that USAID has been a major shareholder in the White Helmet organisation.
The website for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) claims that “our work supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting: economic growth, agriculture and trade; global health; and, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance.”
In a USAID report update in July 2015 it is clearly stated that they have supplied over $ 16m in assistance to the White Helmets.
The USAID track record as a primary US Government/CIA regime change facilitator is extensively documented. From South America to the Ukraine and in the Middle East, USAID serve a malevolent and ultimately destructive role in the dismantling of sovereign nations and their reduction to Western hegemony vassal states, as always, all in the name of freedom and democracy.
With recent developments in Syria and as a consequence of the Syrian Government requested Russian intervention, we have seen a scramble to justify the shambolic US foreign policy and its clandestine terror operations in Syria. We have previously established the White Helmet connections to this US regime change operation and their undisputed exclusive integration into the Al Nusra and Free Syrian Army [Muslim Brotherhood] and even ISIS networks and strongholds.
UK Tory Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Masonic Recognition Gesture.
There has been a recent, intense, publicity campaign that has capitalised on the Oscar for best documentary being awarded to the NATO and Gulf state funded organization, the White Helmets and their Netflix documentary producers.  The White Helmets had previously been winners of the “Alternative Nobel Prize”, given to them in Sweden in 2016.  These various awards have ensured that the White Helmet fictitious “saving-children-lives” videos have been re-circulating across corporate and social media, a major PR coup for the sponsors of this questionable organization.
Central to this PR campaign and just prior to the Oscar award ceremony, Human Rights Watch published a “retrospective” report on February 13th 2017, focusing on spurious accounts of chemical attacks on the recently liberated city of Aleppo. This familiar HRW propaganda piece recycled a previous report from April 2015 detailing an alleged chlorine gas attack in Sarmin, Idlib .
Footage of the aftermath of this attack was provided, at the time, by none other than the White Helmets, which brings us to the macabre video, uploaded by this alleged first responder NGO to YouTube on March 15th 2015. 
Kenneth Roth’s obsessed ‘denouncing’ of unverified chlorine gas attacks, allegedly, carried out by the Syrian state against its own people
Ken Roth has waged a longstanding campaign for military intervention in Syria and the No Fly Zone, effectively a declaration of war
The “Sarmin attack” report published by HRW in April 2015 is, in itself, a remarkable feat of evidence engineering. HRW refers to two witnesses – anonymous “Sarmin residents” – stating they have “heard” helicopters “shortly before the attack”. They heard them but did not see them. Both witnesses also reported hearing “no explosions”.  In the entire HRW report there is not one reported sighting of a helicopter, the existence of which should be an essential element of the White Helmet claims, uncritically reproduced by HRW and never questioned by the UN.
One of the key witnesses cited in the HRW, April 2015, report is a White Helmet operative by the name of Leith Fares: 
“Leith Fares, a rescue worker with Syrian Civil Defence, told Human Rights Watch. “A helicopter always drops two barrels.” “You know, we were at first actually happy,” Fares said. “It is usually good news when there is no explosion.” 
A notably peculiar factor of the White Helmet footage of this alleged attack is that they do not film any external shots of the attack itself, despite their declared anticipation of being targeted, having “heard” helicopters.
Instead, the only footage is of an enclosed indoor space with no contextual filming to evidence where they are in Syria or that an attack has just taken place. The indoor environment certainly resembles a makeshift hospital emergency room. White Helmet “rescuers” parade in and out, manhandling and maneuvering the limp, lifeless bodies of three children. The naked bodies of these children have no external, visible injuries and do not respond when the various “medics” perform all manner of ostensibly “life-saving” procedures, in a haphazard effort to resuscitate these children.
“A Macabre Scene”
In order to obtain qualified clinical opinions, I sent the video uploaded by White Helmets to eminent Swedish medical specialists. I stressed that, particular attention, must be paid to the Syringe needle procedure (seemingly, intracardiac injection) carried out on one of the children. [Click on the image for a clip from the video, showing the syringe-needle scene]:
On April 7th, US warships delivered an illegal blow to a Syrian airbase in Homs. Their justification was the recent “chemical weapon” attack on behalf of the Syrian government in Idlib. The Kremlin condemned the strike as an act of aggression against a sovereign state, and a violation of international law. Meanwhile, at the UN, representatives of Western governments attempt to push through a resolution that is based on information taken out of thin air. It includes the removal of Assad, whether or not he was behind the attack.
It is noteworthy, that the only real source of information on what took place, are the videos made by the White Helmets, an infamous propaganda organisation as it pertains to the Syrian civil war. In this clip, Maria Zakharova calls on Western respresenatives/ journalists to hear Russia, and what it has to say. The attack against the Syrian government, much like the Ghouta gas attack in 2013, which precipitated the Syrian civil war, is a giant facade for the military industrial warhawks in the US, to put their money where their mouth is.
Does hand sign made by Merkel, May and now Juncker prove there is a secret EU illuminati?
SPECULATION is mounting there is a secret society within the EU after senior figures were snapped making the same masonic-style hand signal.
Fri, Jul 22, 2016 | UPDATED: Mon, Jul 25, 2016
By JON AUSTIN
European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker was the latest EU bigwig to be photographed “giving the code” after he was snapped with his hands in the rhombus shape – known as a Merkel Diamond – while talking to Queen Mathilde of Belgium and King Philippe of Belgium during the Te Deum mass at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels, Belgium, yesterday.
It comes after new British Prime Minster Theresa May was pictured separately making the same hand gesture earlier this month.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has been snapped so many times making the shape, which involves pressing the thumbs and index fingers together to create a diamond, that her name was added to its official description.
Mrs May was snapped imitating the ‘Merkel diamond’ while giving a speech outside the Palace of Westminster on July 11.
Conspiracy theory website illuminatiRex lists the diamond sign as number one out of a top-ten of illuminati signs, with Mrs Merkel given her own section for doing it in reverse, in what it describes as the Merkel Raute.
Angela Merkel in a YouTube Illuminati video with Juncker (left) and May (right) making the sign
And on the conspiracy theory forum run by David Icke, the significance of the Merkel Diamond, which has been used in political poster campaigns, has been discussed.
A senior forum member with the user name Posidon posted: “I don’t know if any one even notice the Angela Merkel famous hand sign?
“I found today a new picture of it in my local newspaper, and I found curious that they use her hand sign in a political campaign.
“They call it the famous ‘diamond’.
“Diamond they say? So I ask, is every one asleep these days?
Jean Claude Juncker makes the sign before Belgian royalty today
“Just the first time I saw the image, I noticed it is not a diamond at all, plus the way she placed her fingers (which is not even easy) unless you really want them to be that way does not resemble a diamond at all, but a Masonic symbol of the compass and square.
“Is every one asleep? No one sees and talks about these things, is it not evident enough?”
When Mrs May used the symbol this month, Twitter users immediately drew comparisons between May and Merkel and questioned the significance of the “code”.
Politician Memet Killic, from Germany’s Green Party, wrote: “Merkel now has found a hand gesture competitor in Theresa May.”
Theresa May making the symbol diamond shape
Garion Coyote took a further dig at Mrs May by replying: “Both can compete for the s***test hairstyle among heads of state.”
And journalist Tilo Jung compared her to Ms Merkel’s closest ally. He branded her the “British version of Thomas de Maiziere on crack”.
But, Ms Merkel, who has led the Christian Democratic Union party for 16 years, explained the reason she makes the unusual gesture in a 2013 interview, and denied there was anything sinister behind it.
She told a German magazine: “There was always the question, what to do with your arms, and that’s how it came about. It contains a certain symmetry.”
Other famous faces including Gordon Brown, the Duchess of Cornwall and Recep Tayyip Erdogan have also been spotted making the ‘Merkel diamond’.
Utah Freemasons will install new officers with centuries-old rituals
Feb. 3, 2017
By Kelsey Dallas
Provided by the Grand Lodge of Utah Freemasons Robert Wolfarth of Salt Lake City will be installed as Grand Master of the Utah Freemasons Saturday, Feb. 4.
SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake Masonic Temple, home to the centuries-old and mysterious rituals of the Utah Freemasons, will be open to the public this weekend during a ceremony celebrating the 2017 Grand Lodge officer corps.
“This is a good opportunity to have people come to that big building on South Temple and see what really goes on there,” said Robert Wolfarth, who will be installed as Grand Master Saturday night.
The event will pull back the curtain on a fraternity that’s best known for its secrecy.
“This is a ceremony that’s been going on since before we were a country. It’s an event that’s happened all over the U.S. for hundreds of years,” said John Liley, chairman of the Utah Masons’ public relations committee.
Freemasonry has been present on the American continent since at least the early 18th century when it was referenced in settlers’ writings. However, its core rituals are much older, as the Deseret News reported in 2008.
“Many believe it originated with the stone masons who worked on Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, though no definitive evidence of that legend is known to exist. Others speculate that its tenets were had by (Old Testament prophets) Enoch, and possibly by Adam. Scholars have documented evidence that institutional Masonry dates back only to the Middle Ages when great European cathedrals were being built by guilds of stone masons who practiced ‘the craft,'” the article noted.
Famous freemasons include many of the nation’s founding fathers, and early leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, such as Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, who were masons.
The focus of Freemasonry is personal growth and community improvement. Members who attend gatherings at their local lodge can be chosen as representatives to statewide meetings.
“It’s a path for good men to become better through self-improvement and then to turn around and improve the world around them,” Wolfarth said.
While Freemasonry is not a faith community, masons must believe in a supreme being. Additionally, potential members have to be at least 18 and have no criminal record, Liley noted.
He estimated that there are currently around 1,900 Utah Freemasons. A few hundred of them are expected to attend Saturday’s ceremony, where they will help nonmembers understand the event.
“Masons will be able to talk to anyone who wants to learn more,” Wolfarth said.
In addition to the installation of Wolfarth as Grand Master, the ceremony will include recognition of the more than 15 other officers who support his work.
“Each member will be installed individually. The public will get to hear exactly what the officer is expected to do during 2017,” Wolfarth said.
His duties for the year ahead include administrative tasks like forming and closing lodges, convening meetings and serving as the public face of the Utah Freemasons. He’ll also have a chance to update some of the organization’s internal practices as well as encourage bridges to be built between lodges and their surrounding community.
“I’m pushing our organization to become more efficient and electronic, especially in terms of communication,” said Wolfarth, 54, who is a senior manager at Merit Medical Systems in South Jordan. “I also want to increase our outreach into the community through charity and education.”
Wolfarth and Liley said they hope this weekend’s public ceremony will support their efforts to help Utahns understand what Freemasonry entails.
“The event itself is a wonderful showcase. I look forward to being able to showcase Freemasonry to the public … and dispel some of its mystique,” Wolfarth said.
“It might be cold outside and it might be a Saturday night, but we’re cheaper than a movie,” Liley noted.
The Utah Freemasons 145th annual installation ceremony begins Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the Salt Lake Masonic Temple, located at 650 E. South Temple.
A new secret archive shows a high level of masonic involvement in the inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic
23 Nov 2015
By John Bingham, and Victoria Ward
The Titanic inquiry may have foundered because of Masonic involvement
The inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic may have been influenced by the Freemasons, new evidence suggests.
“The Titanic inquiry in Britain was branded a ‘whitewash’ because it exonerated most of those involved. Only three passengers were interviewed, and they were all from first class” – Titanic Expert Nic Compton
A secret archive containing the names of two million Freemasons has been made public for the first time on the genealogy site Ancestry which reveals extensive Masonic involvement in the controversial British investigation into the catastrophe.
It confirms that not only the judge who oversaw the British Wreck Commissioner’s inquiry into the disaster and leading investigators, but also even some of those who escaped censure were all Freemasons.
While a US Senate inquiry into the sinking savaged the White Star Line and singled out the British Board of Trade for blame for lax regulations which allowed the scandalously small number of lifeboats fitted on the ship, the UK investigation overseen by Lord Mersey avoided blaming the Board of Trade.
Lord Mersey himself – John Charles Bigham – was, the records show, a Freemason, initiated in 1881 at the Northern Bar Lodge in London.
Crucially, so too appears to have been the President of the Board of Trade Sydney Buxton, initiated at Limehouse in East London in 1888 where he was the local MP at the time.
The ship split into two at 2.20am on April 15 and the RMS Carpathia arrived around 4am (Getty)
The names of at least two of the inquiry’s five expert assessors – Prof John Harvard Biles, a specialist in naval architecture, and Edward Chaston, the senior engineer assessor – can also be found in the Masonic archive.
Meanwhile Lord Pirrie, who was not only chairman of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast which built the Titanic but, crucially, also one of the directors of White Star’s parent company, also appears to have been a Freemason.
The peer was born William Pirrie in Quebec in 1847. The records show a William Pirrie initiated at St George’s Lodge in Montreal in 1904.
Titanic Expert Nic Compton, author of Titanic on Trial told History.com: “The Titanic inquiry in Britain was branded a ‘whitewash’ because it exonerated most of those involved. Only three passengers were interviewed, and they were all from first class.
“Even Captain Smith was exonerated on the grounds that most other ships at that time also sped through the ice at full speed with no serious consequences.
“The only person both inquiries heaped scorn on was the captain of SS Californian, the ship that had stood by about eight miles off, its crew watching the emergency flares being fired by Titanic, without doing anything about it until it was too late.”
Newspaper boy Ned Parfett sells copies of the Evening News telling of the Titanic maritime disaster, outside the White Star Line offices at Oceanic House in London’s Cockspur Street (Getty)
Mr Compton said the British inquiry got drawn into more populist issues, such as whether Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon had paid the crew of Lifeboat 1 a bribe not to go back and pick up swimmers and whether Bruce Ismay had behaved like a coward.
The passenger line sank in the Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of April 15 1912 after colliding with an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
Lookout Frederick Fleet had spotted the iceberg and altered the bridge but by the time First Officer William Murdoch had ordered the ship to be steered around the obstacle and the engines put in reverse, it was too late. The ship was carrying only enough life boats for half the passengers, the crew were not trained for a full evacuation. In all, more than 1500 people died and 700 survived the disaster.
The British inquiry was headed by the Board of Trade who had approved the ship, and some believed it had little interest in finding itself or White Star negligent.
It concluded that Captain Smith had done “only that which other skilled men would have done in the same position” and neither White Star or its parent company, the International Mercantile Marine Company (IMM) was found negligent.
Titanic II begins search for captain
Captain Smith went down with the Titanic and was cleared of wrongdoing Photo: GETTY
However the new Freemason links cast new light on the proceedings.
“The records demonstrate the extensive involvement which freemasons have had in British society,” said Diane Clements, director of the Library and Museum of Freemasonry.
“As freemasonry approaches its 300th birthday in 2017, we are pleased to be able to provide access to details of past members.”
Titanic: 40 fascinating facts
Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper was an obscure singer whose identity was shielded by fellow Masons, the new records suggest.
A new book by Bruce Robinson, the director and screenwriter of the classic film Withnail and I, claims that the notorious Whitechapel murderer was a man named Michael Maybrick.
In the book They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper, Robinson argues that all of the Ripper killings bore the stamp of Masonic ritual; the symbol of a pair of compasses carved into the face of Catherine Eddowes, the removal of meal buttons and coins from the bodies of Eddowes and Annie Chapman and the cryptic graffiti daubed on a wall in Goulston Street, which he says was “the most flagrant clue of all.”
The new archives prove for the first time that singer Maybrick and his brother James were both masons.
Michael Maybrick photographed in 1907 Photo: Courtesy of Fourth Estate
And they reveal that Freemasons were in prominent positions in the Scotland Yard inquiry including the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Charles Warren and the colleague he appointed to be his “eyes and ears” on the case, Chief Inspector Donald Swanson.
Two coroners who ruled on the murders, Wynne Baxter and Henry Crawford and at least three of the police doctors who examined the bodies were also members of the masons.
Maybrick, who was on the Supreme Grand Council of Freemasons, travelled the country as a performer.
His entry in the carefully handwritten records, describes him as a “vocalist” and states that he was a member of the St Andrew’s Lodge from 1863 until 1887 – meaning he left just a year before the nine-week period in 1888 when five women were murdered in the East End of London, one of the biggest unsolved crimes in British history.
Sir Charles is said to have been a senior member of the Masonic society. He was a founder member of the Quatuor Coronati lodge, and an authority on Freemasonic history and ritual.
Robinson told the Telegraph: “It was endemic in the way England ran itself. At the time of Jack the Ripper, there were something like 360 Tory MPs, 330 of which I can identify as Masons.
“The whole of the ruling class was Masonic, from the heir to the throne down. It was part of being in the club.
‘Part of the whole ethic of Freemasonry is whatever it is, however it’s done, you protect the brotherhood – and that’s what happened.
“They weren’t protecting Jack the Ripper, they were protecting the system that Jack the Ripper was threatening. And to protect the system, they had to protect him. And the Ripper knew it.”
An illustration from 1891 showing a body being discovered Photo: Getty
Secret Archive shows extent of freemasonry in Britain
A secret archive containing the names of two million freemasons has been opened to the public for the first time
The list, seen by the Telegraph, could lead to a re-examination of almost 200 years of British history, by revealing the extent of Masonic influence in the upper reaches of society at the height of Britain’s imperial grandeur.
Defiant to the end: wartime PM Winston Churchill after losing the election in July 1945
Sir Winston Churchill joined in 1901
Records, being published online by the genealogy service Ancestry, contain the names of royalty, statesmen and thousands of other influential figures including judges, police, military top brass, lawyers and bishops.
While the individual Masonic connections of some of those included – such as Sir Winston Churchill and Edward VIII – are well known, the records from 1733 to 1923 offer the first comprehensive view of the reach of freemasonry over the age of Empire.
On the military field, those listed range from the Duke of Wellington to Lord Kitchener. In the arts it includes writers such as Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling; the actor Sir Henry Irving while names from the musical world include both Gilbert and Sullivan.
The explorers Ernest Shackleton and Captain Robert Falcon Scott also feature while scientists listed range from Edward Jenner, the pioneer of vaccines, to Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin.
In the world of charity and social reform Dr Thomas Barnardo is among those listed while businessmen include Harry Selfridge while Thomas Telford heads a list of thousands of engineers who ensured Britain’s industrial dominance.
In addition to Edward VIII, monarchs present include Edward VII and George VI.
While most of the entries simply include names, lodges and initiation dates, of the smaller number which specify professions there are 5,500 police officers of different varieties, thousands more military figures, 170 judges, 169 MPs, 16 bishops and at least one Indian prince.
It follows a series of steps by the freemasons in recent decades to open up the organisation while Ancestry believes the records will prove invaluable in helping people trace their roots.
Miriam Silverman, senior UK content manager at Ancestry said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer people an online window into a relatively unknown organisation.
“While we can’t reveal the inner workings of Freemason ceremonies, what we can tell you is the details of over two million historic members.
“So, if you want to find out more about a Freemason ancestor or locate a famous member, now is the perfect time to get online and start your search.”
The freemasons officially date from 1717, when a group of like-minded men in London got together in a coffee house and devised a non-sectarian, socially egalitarian ‘club’ in which ‘men of integrity’ could fraternise, while avoiding the issues of religion and politics.
They took as their guiding metaphor the trade of stonemasonry, hence the symbols of Freemasonry – the square, compass and apron – and its three degrees of evolution, Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) has around 250,000 members and The Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland administer some 150,000 members. There may be as many as six million globally – two million in the United States.
The Duke of Kent is the current Grand Master of UGLE, and his brother, Prince Michael of Kent, is a Mason.
Freemasonry in British society
John Houlding (1833 – 1902); Alexander Watson Hutton (1853 – 1936); Douglas Robert Jardine (1900 – 1958); Archibald Leitch (1865 – 1939); John Lillywhite (1826 – 1874); John McKenna (1855- 1936); Henry Augustus (“Gus”) Mears (1876 – 1912); Sir Philip Neame (1888 – 1978); Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji (1872 – 1933); John Gillies Shields (1857 – 1943); Matthew Webb (1848 – 1883); Vivian John Woodward (1879 – 1954)
Edward VII (Albert Edward, Prince of Wales; 1841-1910); Edward VIII (Edward, Prince of Wales, later Duke of Windsor: 1894-1972); George VI
Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874–1965); General Filippo Antonio Pasquale Paoli (1725–1807); Arthur, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769–1852); Sir Francis Burdett (1813-1892); Richard Pankhurst (1835-1898); Kitchener of Khartoum (1850-1915); Field Marshall Lord Roberts of Kandahar (1832-1914)
Capt George Everest (1790–1866); Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912); Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922); Reginald Koettlitz (1860-1916); Albert Borlase Armitage (1864-1943)
Professor Alexander Fleming (1881–1955); Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins (1861–1947); Edward Jenner (1749–1823); William Hales Rivers Rivers (1864–1922); Sir Henry Tizard (1885–1959); Cromwell Fleetwood Varley (1828 –1883); Sir Henry Wellcome (1853–1936); James Glaisher (1809-1903)
Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900); Sir W S Gilbert (1836-1911); Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930); Rudyard Kipling (1865-1836); Sir Henry Irving (1838-1905; Archibald Knox (1864-1933); Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
How secret group Freemasons has kept grip on Britain for 200 years
23 NOV 2015
By Richard Smith
8432 Shares 14 Comments
The names of royalty, statesmen, judges, military top brass, bishops and police have been found in a secret archive
Freemason: Winston Churchill making his famous V for Victory sign, 1942
The huge influence Freemasons had in ruling British society for almost 200 years has finally been revealed.
The names of royalty, statesmen, judges, military top brass, bishops and police have been found in a secret archive which lists two million Freemasons.
The masonic records – from 1733 to 1923 – are set to be made available to the public for the first time.
They show Kings Edward VII, Edward VIII and George VI were all Freemasons.
Military leaders the Duke of Wellington and Lord Kitchener were also members of the clandestine group founded by a group of men in a London coffee house in 1717.
Britain’s wartime Premier Sir Winston Churchill was also a Freemason along with literary greats Rudyard Kipling, Oscar Wilde and Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Freemason legend: Captain Robert Falcon Scott
Freemason: Douglas Jardine
Others include music legends Gilbert and Sullivan, explorers Ernest Shackleton and Captain Robert Scott, England cricket captain Douglas Jardine and scientist Sir Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin.
Rudyard Joseph Kipling
More than 5,500 police officers, thousands of military figures, 170 judges, 169 MPs, 16 bishops and an Indian prince are listed in the Freemasons archive to be made public by family history website Ancestry.
A member: Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Also a member: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Businessman Harry Selfridge is named in the archive along with social reformer Thomas Barnardo, famous bridge builder Thomas Telford and thousands of engineers who made Britain a world industrial power.
Pocket watch with Mason symbol
Key member: Alexander Fleming
The extent to which Freemasons wielded power over the British Empire may lead to a re-examination of two centuries of our history.
Big role: William Schwenck Gilbert
The all-male group was originally formed to enable “men of integrity” to get together while avoiding issues of religion and politics.
Freemason: Arthur Sullivan
They adopted the compass, square and apron used in stonemasonry as symbols for the group.
Key member: Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State at the start of World War One
Publication of the archive comes after initiatives by the Freemasons in recent decades to make the organisation more open.
Also a member: Edward VIII in 1935
There are believed to be six million Freemasons in the world today – including two million in the United States.
A freemason: King George VI of Great Britain in 1939
Ancestry’s senior UK content manager Miriam Silverman said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer people an online window into a relatively unknown organisation.”
The loss of SS Titanic, 14 April 1912: The lifeboats. All that was left of the greatest ship in the world – the lifeboats that carried most of the 705 survivors
Huge influence: The Freemasons were key in the inquiry of SS Titanic
Freemasons had a huge influence over a controversial inquiry into the Titanic disaster in which more than 1,500 passengers and crew died.
The secret archive shows the judge who presided over the British Wreck Commissioner’s inquiry was a Freemason along with leading investigators and some who escaped censure.
A US investigation blamed the British Board of Trade for lax rules which allowed the Titanic to set off on its maiden voyage in 1912 with just 20 lifeboats for 2,208 people on board.
But the Board of Trade was exonerated by the British inquiry led by Lord Mersey.
Records show the judge was initiated as a Freemason in 1881 at the Northern Bar Lodge in London.
Tragedy: Photograph purporting to be of the iceberg that sank the Titanic
President of the Board of Trade Sydney Buxton was also a long-standing Mason after being initiated in 1888 at Limehouse in East London, where he was local MP.
Two of the inquiry’s five expert assessors were also listed as Masons – naval architecture specialist John Harvard Biles and senior engineer assessor Edward Chaston.
Another key figure in the inquiry listed as a Freemason was Lord Pirrie.
He was chairman of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast which built the Titanic and a directors of shipping line White Star’s parent company.
Nic Compton, author of Titanic on Trial, told History.com: “The Titanic inquiry in Britain was branded a ‘whitewash’ because it exonerated most of those involved.
Only three passengers were interviewed, and they were all from first class.
“The only person both inquiries heaped scorn on was the captain of SS Californian, the ship that had stood by about eight miles off, its crew watching the emergency flares being fired by Titanic, without doing anything about it until it was too late.”
The Titanic sank on April 15 1912, after hitting an iceberg in the Atlantic on the way from Southampton to New York.
There were 700 survivors. The British inquiry decided ship’s captain Edward Smith did “only that which other skilled men would have done in the same position”.
White Star and its parent company were cleared of negligence.
Jack the Ripper
Infamous Victorian serial killer Jack The Ripper may have escaped justice because of a Freemason cover-up.
The notorious murderer is believed to have been a second-rate singer called Michael Maybrick who is identified as a Freemason in the archive records.
Maybrick was a member of the St Andrew’s Lodge in London for more than 20 years.
He left a year before five women were murdered in the East End in nine weeks in 1888.
The case is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in British criminal history.
Records show the part played by Freemasons in the failed Scotland Yard inquiry.
Failed investigation: Jack The Ripper
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Charles Warren was a Mason along with his “eyes and ears” on the case Chief Inspector Donald Swanson.
Coroners Wynne Baxter and Henry Crawford who ruled on the murders were also Masons along with at least three police doctors who examined the bodies.
Maybrick was on the Supreme Grand Council of Freemasons and toured Britain as a performer.
His handwritten entry in the records describes him as a “vocalist”.
Met police chief Sir Charles was a senior member of the Masonic Society.
Author Bruce Robinson, film director of Withnail and I, claims in a new book that the Ripper murders bore the hallmarks of Masonic ritual.
He said proof came in the form of a pair of compasses carved into the face of victim Catherine Eddowes, removal of meal buttons and coins from the bodies of Eddowes and Annie Chapman and cryptic graffiti daubed on a wall which was “the most flagrant clue of all”.
Robinson – whose book is called They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper – said: “The whole of the ruling class was Masonic, from the heir to the throne down. It was part of being in the club.
“Part of the whole ethic of Freemasonry is whatever it is, however it’s done, you protect the brotherhood – and that’s what happened.
“They weren’t protecting Jack the Ripper, they were protecting the system that Jack the Ripper was threatening.
“And to protect the system, they had to protect him. And the Ripper knew it.”
There are 250,000 Freemasons in 8,000 Lodges in England and Wales.
Be a man who comes of his own free will.
Believe in a Supreme Being (the form of which is left to open interpretation by the candidate).
Be at least the minimum age (from 18-25 years old depending on the jurisdiction).
Be of good morals, and of good reputation.
Be of sound mind and body.
Be capable of furnishing character references, as well as one or two references from current Masons, depending on jurisdiction.
James Bond 007 creator Bro. Ian Fleming’s final resting place in Sevenhampton, England. Masonic Obelisk Upon Masonic Globes.
“Ripperology” is a popular pastime among amateur sleuths and armchair Sherlock Holmeses the world over. Now along comes actor, writer and director Bruce Robinson (The Killing Fields, Withnail and I) with an entirely new suspect:
For much of the past 15 years he has been absorbed in an extraordinary – and, frankly, improbable – quest. The identity of the man who was responsible for the horrific murders of five women in the East End of London over a nine-week period in 1888 remains one of the great mysteries in British criminal history. Robinson would dispute the use of the word ‘mystery’ – the word he prefers is ‘scandal’. But he is convinced he has solved it.
Next week sees the publication of They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper. More than 800 pages in length, it is the fruit of intense, one might say obsessive, dedication. ‘I thought it would take me two years – a year to research and a year to write,’ Robinson sighs. ‘Had I known – truly known – then what I know now, I would never have started.’
On the night of September 30, 1888, two women, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes, were murdered within hours of each other on the streets of Whitechapel. They were the third and fourth women to have been murdered, and horribly mutilated, in the course of four weeks. The case of Jack the Ripper was already a cause of public alarm. But Charles Warren had not yet bestirred himself to visit the scene of the crimes. On that night, however, he rushed to the East End in the early hours of the morning – his priority, it seems, not to examine the bodies, but to inspect some graffiti scrawled on a wall in Goulston Street, close to where a bloodied apron belonging to Catherine Eddowes had been found. The graffiti read: ‘The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing.’
Warren immediately ordered the words be washed off the wall. ‘It was a light-bulb moment,’ Robinson remembers. ‘We’ve got this rampaging maniac in the East End, but it suddenly occurred to me – what if they didn’t want to catch him? Is there any mileage there? Let’s go down that street.
‘Part of the whole ethic of Freemasonry is whatever it is, however it’s done, you protect the brotherhood – and that’s what happened. They weren’t protecting Jack the Ripper, they were protecting the system that Jack the Ripper was threatening. And to protect the system, they had to protect him. And the Ripper knew it.’
I don’t want to give the solution or the name of the alleged culprit away, so please do read the whole thing, It’s ingenious and, given the prevalence of Masons among the British ruling class, far from implausible.
A jovial Bro. Tony Blair and Bro. Christopher Hitchens making Masonic handsign ‘recognition gestures’ prior to the Munk Debate in Toronto, Ontario in 2010.
The High Court has upheld a decision by the First-Tier Tax tribunal that The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE)- otherwise known as The Freemasons – should not be exempt from VAT
The Freemasons’ claim centred around whether or not its activities could be defined as being of a “philosophical, philanthropic or civic nature”, which would have therefore made it exempt from VAT. An earlier tribunal hearing ruled that they did not, but UGLE was granted leave to appeal.
The Upper Tier Tax Tribunal ruled that while UGLE had some philosophical and philanthropic aims, it also had “other aims” which did not fall within the exception.
It said, “In our opinion, the aims which did not fall within the exemption were not insignificant and were of sufficient magnitude to cause UGLE to fall outside the words of the exemption in Article 132. Accordingly we dismiss the appeal.”
Judge Justice Asplin said the first-tier tribunal did not “err in law” when it dismissed UGLE’s appeal in February last year following an initial decision from HMRC in 2010.
An UGLE spokesperson told economia, “United Grand Lodge of England is disappointed with the decision and consideration will be given regarding taking this to the Court of Appeal.”
Cardinal Wuerl calls Cardinal Burke a ‘dissenter’: pot calls the kettle black
Cardinals Timothy Dolan (New York), Walter Kasper, and Donald Wuerl (Washington, D.C.) seated at the opening Mass of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family at St. Peter’s Basilica on October 5, 2014. John-Henry Westen / LifeSiteNews.com
On his official blog, Washington, D.C., Cardinal Donald Wuerl made a rather obvious reference to Cardinal Raymond Burke, calling him a “dissenter.” Referring to “an interview and an article by brother bishops who are less than enthusiastic about Pope Francis,” Cardinal Wuerl was unmistakably pointing to Cardinal Burke, whose interview with France2 days earlier was making the rounds on the Internet.
While newsworthy, the interview with Cardinal Burke was rather mundane in that he merely said he would be willing to “resist” Pope Francis, if the pontiff were to attempt to change the Church’s practice of denying Communion to those in “second marriages.” Pope Francis has never said he would change the current Church practice, even though powerful cardinals surrounding him have suggested the move.
After introducing the unnamed bishop who was critical of Pope Francis in an interview, Cardinal Wuerl runs through dissenters from papal teaching in recent history, noting, “a common thread that runs through all of these dissenters” is that “they disagree with the Pope because he does not agree with them and therefore follow their position.”
Cardinal Wuerl is here on new ground. For years he was, by his own definition, the “dissenter” under Popes John Paul II and Pope Benedict. The issue also revolved around Holy Communion. However, rather than giving Communion to divorced and remarried, the previous popes were asking that Communion be denied to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.
In 2004, Pope John Paul II had the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith intervene in the US Bishops deliberation over the question of Communion for pro-abortion politicians. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later to become Pope Benedict XVI, wrote in his letter titled “Worthiness to receive Holy Communion,” that a Catholic politician who would vote for “permissive abortion and euthanasia laws” after being duly instructed and warned, “must” be denied Communion.
Ratzinger’s letter explained that if such a politician “with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.”
As pope, Benedict XVI confirmed this position. Answering a reporter on an in-flight press conference in 2007, Pope Benedict addressed a question on the Mexican bishops excommunicating politicians who support legalizing abortion. “Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by Canon law which says that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with receiving communion, which is receiving the body of Christ,” said the pope.
In the comment, Pope Benedict was referring to the Church’s Canon law 915, which states: “Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
Archbishop Wuerl repeatedly refused to comply with that directive. In fact, he was open in his dissent. Asked by various media since the mid-1990s, he said it was not his pastoral style, and also claimed that denying Communion is tantamount to wielding the sacrament as a weapon.
But for the Washington archbishop it wasn’t only a matter of words – he backed up his rhetoric against the pope’s wishes with action. In March 2012, he stripped a priest of his faculties to publicly celebrate Mass for refusing Communion to a woman who was known to have been living in a homosexual relationship.
Fr. Marcel Guarnizo was “placed on administrative leave” by the archdiocese after he refused to distribute Communion to Barbara Johnson, a self-identified Buddhist who had reportedly introduced her lesbian “lover” to the priest in the sacristy right before her mother’s funeral Mass. The archdiocese issued an apology to Johnson and said that Fr. Guarnizo’s actions were “against policy” and that an investigation was underway.
In 2012, when asked about refusing notorious pro-abortion politician Nancy Pelosi Communion, Wuerl opined, “I stand with the great majority of American bishops and bishops around the world in saying this canon was never intended to be used this way.”
At that time the head of the Catholic Church’s highest court dealing with canon law was none other than Cardinal Raymond Burke. Burke told LifeSiteNews unequivocally at the time: “The Church’s law is very clear.”
“The person who persists publicly in grave sin is to be denied Holy Communion, and it [canon law] doesn’t say that the bishop shall decide this. It’s an absolute.”
So perhaps Cardinal Wuerl is savoring a little revenge with his dissenter remark. But, the hypocrisy is so very blatant.
Cardinal Wuerl concludes his blog post saying, “Dissent is perhaps something we will always have, lamentable as it is, but we will also always have Peter and his successor as the rock and touchstone of both our faith and our unity.”
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