Civilizations Lost and Found: Fabricating History – Part One: An Alternate Reality

I’ve come to the conclusion that without a connection to our hearts, we simply cannot know what is Truth in an area like this one. I’ve also decided this is why so many people choose to ignore what is happening on the planet, putting their heads in the sand. There is no one they can ask outside themselves for the ‘real’ truth of all this, and it seems they also cannot ask themselves.

Also, if you are unaware of the many archeological sites in the U. S., this article is worth reading.

Source: Center for Skeptical Inquiry

Kenneth Feder, Bradley T. Lepper, Terry A. Barnhart, and Deborah A. Bolnick

Volume 35.5, September/October 2011

The Lost Civilizations of North America documentary is one in a long line of failed attempts to populate America’s ancient past with the denizens of lost tribes, lost cities, and, as its title indicates, lost civilizations.

While there are many vernacular meanings of the term civilization, archaeologists tend to use it in a limited and precise way to signify a particular kind of society. For example, in his classic enumeration of the features that characterized humanity’s earliest civilizations, prehistorian V. Gordon Childe (1951) included labor specialization, social stratification, production of a food surplus, construction of monumental edifices, urban settlements, and a consistent system of record keeping (usually, but not always, writing). More recently, Joseph Tainter (1988) added the development of a formal government apparatus to that list.

Civilizations Lost

To many at the fringes of the historical sciences, the term civilization takes on an entirely different, often coded, meaning—especially when a seemingly innocuous modifier, such as “lost,” is applied to its front end. A vast amount of pseudoscience has been inspired by the simple phrase “lost civilization,” particularly by those who believe that they have found its archaeological spoor and can thus recast the history of a particular people, an entire continent, or in the most extreme cases, all of humanity (Childress 1992; Hancock 1995, 2003; Haughton 2007). The history of American archaeology for the aboriginal cultures of North America is especially rife with problems relating to the indiscriminate and often confusing use of the phrase “lost civilization” and its cohorts “lost race,” “lost city,” and “lost tribe.”

Many claims about the existence of a lost civilization in antiquity are, in effect, warmed-over versions of Plato’s Atlantis myth: Long ago (commonly placed at more than ten thousand years before the present) and far away (on an island in the Atlantic or under the Antarctic ice cap or off the coast of Japan, etc.), an enormously advanced and technologically sophisticated civilization existed whose impact on human history was vast. In extreme versions of the lost civilization myth, the society in question possessed technologies that even modern people have not mastered. Alas, as the result of some terrible accident or war or natural catastrophe, that civilization was destroyed virtually overnight and thus became “lost.” In such stories, conventional historians and archaeologists are described as being blind to the evidence for such a civilization or, in some cases, well aware of the evidence but part of a longstanding conspiracy to keep it all quiet, lest it upset the convenient apple cart of history concocted in their ivory towers.

In one subset of the lost-civilization genre of pseudohistory, the lost civilization is not a previously unknown group of people residing in the clichéd “dim mists of time” but instead an otherwise well-known ancient society that is remarkable primarily as a result of its geography, not for its precocious level of technological sophistication. Even restricting ourselves to just North America, the list of such claims is long—though evidence is short—and includes: Celtic kingdoms in the northeastern United States thousands of years ago (Fell 1976); Coptic Christian settlements in ancient Michigan (based on the so-called Michigan Relics) (Halsey 2009); Roman Jews in Arizona (the Tucson Artifacts) (Burgess 2009); the Lost Tribes of Israel in Ohio (the Newark Holy Stones) (Lepper and Gill 2000); and strange mixtures of various ancient Old World peoples secreted in hideouts in the Grand Canyon in Arizona (“Explorations in Grand Canyon” 1909) and in a cave in southeastern Illinois (Burrows Cave) (Joltes 2003). These claims are predicated essentially on the same notion: ancient Europeans, Africans, or Asians came to the Americas long before Columbus and long—perhaps thousands of years—before the Norse; they settled here and had a huge impact on the native people but then somehow became lost, both to history and to historians. Today, a group of “independent scholars” (a euphemism often used to mean writers without institutional affiliation, formal training, or archaeological experience) trumpet the evidence for these ancient settlers of the Americas, disseminating their revisionist histories—not in refereed, professional journals but in popular books, magazines, and, perhaps most broadly, on websites and in cable TV documentaries.

The Lost Civilizations of North America

A recent iteration of this “alternative archaeology” (another euphemism, this one used for claims about antiquity lacking in credible scientific evidence) can be seen in the documentaryThe Lost Civilizations of North America (produced by Steven Smoot, Rick Stout, and Barry McLerran), described on its DVD packaging as “the compelling account of the wanton destruction of an ancient history.” According to the video, this claimed “destruction” is both actual (in the sense of the physical, perhaps intentional, destruction of the archaeological evidence of this civilization) and metaphorical (in the sense of the intellectual denial of its existence). It is the embarrassing admission of the authors of this article that we naively agreed to participate in the program.

We do not agree with the vast majority of the interpretations of ancient American history presented in the documentary. While it is tempting to ignore the documentary as nonsense, the high production values coupled with the selective inclusion of academically credible scholars have resulted in its gaining international attention. Glenn Beck featured it prominently and favorably in the August 18, 2010, broadcast of his television program, and the website promoting the DVD claims it won the Best Multicultural Documentary Award at the 2010 International Cherokee Film Festival.

In a series of three articles, we will provide a scientific commentary on the interpretations expressed in this video concerning the ancient history of North America, using the documentary itself as emblematic of a far broader attempt to write an alternative history of the New World that is wholly unsupported by any archaeological or historical evidence. In this and two subsequent articles, we will address two questions that are particularly relevant: What is the evidence for the “lost” civilizations in North America? And how did this evidence come to be “lost”?

An Alternate Reality

Consensus among investigators in organized fields of knowledge is not a conspiracy to ignore, destroy, or sequester deviant or anomalous evidence, as is implied several times in the Lost Civilizations video. Consensus is based upon recognized rules of investigation and principles of interpretation that have been developed in relation to specific research problems. The emergence of consensus among anthropologists regarding the origin and antiquity of humankind in the New World is no exception.

Figure 1

Figure 1. This map shows the configuration of the modern coastlines of northeast Asia and northwest North America, along with the maximum Late Pleistocene extent of the Bering Land Bridge. Its existence, between thirty-five thousand and eleven thousand years ago, provided a broad avenue across which human beings first entered the New World from the Old.

The consensus view on this subject among archaeologists (together with geologists and biologists) is based on more than a century of excavating literally thousands of archaeological sites. A convergence of interdisciplinary data indicates that the New World was first populated at least thirteen thousand and perhaps as many as thirty thousand years ago by migrants from Asia (Meltzer 2009). These people entered the Americas via a wide expanse of land—called Beringia—connecting northeastern Asia with northwestern North America during periods of glacial expansion and concomitant lower sea levels (see figure 1). The first human migrants were few in number and entered a continent teeming with wildlife, including many now-extinct forms such as mastodons, wooly mammoths, giant ground sloths, and saber-toothed cats. Exploiting the richness of this “new world,” the human population grew quickly and expanded across the North and South American continents over a few thousand years. As settlers moved into new habitats and as the climate ameliorated at the end of the Pleistocene era (or “Ice Age”) ten thousand years ago, descendants of those first settlers adapted to a great diversity of new and changing environmental conditions, producing an abundance of differing ways of life. Each group adjusted to the natural conditions with which it was faced. In some regions, extremely rich habitats and, ultimately, the development of agricultural subsistence systems allowed for the production of a substantial food surplus and led to the growth of stratified societies with many of the characteristics outlined by Childe and Tainter that define a civilization. Among these were societies of the American Midwest and Southeast—the so-called mound builders—whose ability to marshal the communal labors of large groups of people is clearly seen in an archaeological landscape of monumentally scaled earthworks that include conical burial mounds, truncated pyramids of earth called “platform mounds,” effigy mounds (in the shape of various animals and birds), and vast areas enclosed by geometrically patterned earth embankments (Milner 2004) (figures 2a–2d).

Figure 2aFigure 2a. Miamisburg Mound, located in Miamisburg, Ohio, is one of the largest conical mounds in eastern North America. It is a burial mound built by the people that archaeologists have called the Adena culture, circa 800 BCE to 100 CE. (Ohio Historical Society) (K. Feder)
Figure 2bFigure 2b. The Fort Ancient Earthworks are a series of earthen embankments that extend for more than three and a half miles around a high bluff along the Little Miami River in southwestern Ohio. The earthworks were built by the Hopewell culture, circa 100 BCE–400 CE. (CERHAS, University of Cincinnati)
Figure 2cFigure 2c. Serpent Mound is the largest serpent effigy in the world. Located in Adams County, Ohio, it is thought to have been built by the Fort Ancient culture, circa 1000–1650 CE. (Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites [CERHAS], University of Cincinnati)
Figure 2dFigure 2d. Monks Mound, at Cahokia in Illinois, is by volume the fifth largest pyramidal monument in the world. Ultimately more than one hundred feet high, Monks Mound was constructed and maintained between 900 and 1300 CE. It served as the elevated platform on which stood the home of Cahokia’s ruler. Cahokia was, effectively, the capital of a powerful, indigenous political and economic entity. (K. Feder)

It is the archaeological consensus that the myriad cultures seen in native North America, including the mound builders, for the most part developed independent of any external inspiration. Contact almost certainly occurred between ancient societies in North America and the civilizations to the south—there is evidence, for example, of turquoise trade between the native people of the American Southwest and the cultures of Mesoamerica (Powell 2005), and maize, a Mexican domesticate, eventually made its way northward into essentially all regions of the continent in which it could be grown. But there is no credible scientific evidence for the wholesale movement of people from the Old World into sub-arctic North America after the initial incursion from northeast Asia at the end of the Ice Age. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that the cultural developments exhibited in the archaeological record here—like the monumentally scaled earthworks shown in figures 2a–2d—were in any way inspired by visitors or migrants from Africa, Europe, or Asia (Fritze 2009). Native Americans were fully capable of developing complex and sophisticated cultures on their own without help from other societies. The archaeological record of North America clearly shows the indigenous development of the technologies, art, architecture, social systems, subsistence practices, and engineering accomplishments seen in native America. There is no archaeological or biological evidence for the presence of interlopers, and there is no need for their presence in explaining the archaeology of native America.

The producers of the Lost Civilizations documentary clearly do not subscribe to this “mainstream” interpretation of American archaeology. Instead, what seems to emerge is the following less-coherent “diffusionist” alternative history:

Sometime toward the end of the last Ice Age, a few Asians stumbled into the New World across the Beringian land bridge. They developed indigenous societies, some of which may have been the beneficiaries of various unspecified contacts from the Old World over the millennia. By two thousand years ago, descendants of the original settlers living in eastern North America were building modest earthworks and scratching out a living by growing a few varieties of local plants. Then, a contingent of Israelites from the hills of Galilee arrived somewhere on America’s east coast, spreading through the indigenous cultures, acting like missionaries and igniting the cultural florescence of the mound-building cultures we know today as the Hopewell (as well as the subsequent Mississippian). These new migrants brought with them their religion (Judaism, apparently) and their written language (Hebrew), which appears in some regions as inscriptions on stone tablets or other artifacts of special significance. They also inspired the construction of vast cities across the Midwest and Southeast, raising up the locals to a high level of civilization, changing fundamentally and forever the cultures and histories of the previously benighted indigenous people.

In stark contrast to the elegant consensus achieved by the interdisciplinary work of archaeologists, geologists, geneticists, and linguists (Meltzer 2009; Goebel et al. 2008), recent issues of the diffusionist Ancient American magazine amply demonstrate that there is, in fact, no consensus among diffusionist researchers concerning which African, Asian, or European cultures arrived in America to serve as the elevators of Native American savagery, when they arrived, or which cultural achievements they are supposed to have introduced or inspired.

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13 Responses to Civilizations Lost and Found: Fabricating History – Part One: An Alternate Reality

  1. Pingback: the paradox of “literal interpretations” (and how to stop trying to be perfect) « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

  2. mike says: I have spoke on this issue several change this world we have to become who we are. It should already be apparent that the history has been altered to say what they want us to believe to be true. I pit this video up here and would ask each and everyone of you to watch it. if you dare. I have said over and over again that we have to change our world.

    • Jean says:

      Mike, I feel that the people on this blog are beginning to change the world! We’re not perfect at it, but I do think we are really trying! When I read everyone’s comments, the majority are expressed from a place of love. Maybe in Duality we wouldn’t be friends, but here where we only have our words to speak to us, we are beginning to live ‘together’ in our hearts. I truly believe that, although I know you really want us to work on this and try even more, and I do understand that maybe it’s your role to keep pushing us forward, to remind us, and I do thank you for this!

      Love and hugs to you,

  3. Rachel says:

    Jean I am actually addressing your comment above the article rather than the article itself, because of a very long conversation I had with my parents at breakfast this morning. My mother is very much “happily asleep” and my father enjoys hearing SOME of what I have to say but is extremely skeptical about it because he does not take in any nontraditional media at all and depends on me for all of that type of info.

    Sometimes, like this morning, I feel that it’s correct to give them a certain amount of information that is like “an alternate reality” for them because it does not line up with their beliefs. It is at those times they are the most receptive to hearing the basic consensus reality many researchers and bloggers have been able to piece together concerning the matrix/illusion and The Shift.

    Something you said really struck me in particular: That without a direct heart connection, we CANNOT know the “actual truth” of any information we are presented with. My own heart connection strengthens all the time but still has ‘stuttering points’ or ‘weak points,’ especially in areas I still carry fear/anger in. My mom, while definitely a compassionate person, is not connected to her heart in the way you are describing in your commentary and basically has no way to tell what is “Real” vs what “seems to be real” and ends up having mostly knee-jerk reactions to things.

    The upshot is, you have helped reiterate to me something I “knew” but sometimes need a booster shot on: That I must remain ENTIRELY compassion-based for Mom and people like her, even though it can be VERY hard to not get annoyed with people who at the moment do not want any part of Waking Up. LOL So thank you for the reminder, and what a lovely little synchronicity your commentary was for me after a truly cool and long conversation that felt like it’s “time had FINALLY come.” That alone really heartened me, and this little comment of yours is my confirmation that oh yes, Things Are Afoot. 😉

    • Jean says:

      Rachel, you have made an important discovery for yourself, and the Universe in a kindly way validated you through my words. It wasn’t an accident. When I first came here to my new home, I kept puzzling over what is the difference here from where I was actually forced to leave, because I just couldn’t survive there. I asked it over and over again, and the answer was simple, but so subtle, because the difference wasn’t readily observable to me. Then, one day the answer came into my head ‘whole’, or all in one peace. The people where I used to live blocked me out, because they didn’t know how to respond! When I asked myself why this was, the answer finally came to me. These are highly intelligent people who love from the mind, which is what Duality is all about. When you love from the mind, you always get a response in Duality, because the mind is a Duality instrument. If you pray for peace from your mind, you can get peace, but you will also get the opposite – in this case, war – coming up behind. That’s just the way it is.

      People who live in their minds, or some people say in their heads, can no longer think for themselves. If something comes up and a decision isn’t readily available, they will find someone they respect who can tell them what to think. I had the opportunity to test myself as I healed, because I did a lot of things from my heart, and each time I saw that I had done the correct thing for myself. The Universe kept giving me tougher things to deal with, and finally, when my very life depended on it, I left where I lived to seek a different way of being in the world. I was puzzling about this is Sedona last October, and I described my situation to Drunvalo, and in his usual gentle way he said that people with highly developed intellects have trouble with this new way of being. My experience is that they have ‘big’ trouble!

      Here’s the thing I found: I could remain compassion-based quite easily, but I couldn’t live with these kinds of people, or it was going to kill me – quite literally. There were times I spent so much time alone that my speaking voice almost disappeared. If it hadn’t been for my dogs with whom I ‘chatted’, I don’t know what I would have done. I was alone over the Holidays because that was easier than being invited by people who felt responsible to do the ‘right’ thing and invite this strange person for a holiday meal, which I learned was steeped in commercialism anyway. I’m not young, so they simply left me alone, very alone, because I didn’t ‘fit.’ They didn’t do this out of meanness, but I just didn’t conform and so I was quite naturally excluded. These people seem to have little curiosity; they are living life almost by rote. They don’t seem to be too creative. Because of the abuse I’d suffered I went for almost an entire lifetime without being connected to who I really am, and in order to have a life with those dear people, I just couldn’t give that up all over again – not this late in the game. The move here was incredibly tough, but I knew it might be. I had no choice; I felt if I were to die, it was better to die trying to live rather than to die because I simply gave up. Needless to say, I made it.

      What I’m saying is that you can love these people and feel great compassion for them, and I’m talking not only about your parents, but about a great many other people, as well. What you cannot do is deny who you are and what you believe to the point that you begin to deny yourself! You need to find people who will validate you in your beliefs, people who are endeavoring to live in their hearts. That way you can have a balance in your life. A decision from your heart is always the right one, and you don’t get any Duality problems kicking in. Many people will not go through this shift, which isn’t about intellect or rote book learning, and this is not something to be mourned. They aren’t ready, but that doesn’t make them any less in God’s eyes than those who are champing at the bit. If they’re not ready, then trying to force them would almost be cruel, I think. Love them all, and love them well, but first you must love yourself and take care of her. It is a true statement, I have found from some very painful experience, that you cannot truly love another until you first understand what it means to love yourself.

      I hope this makes some sense to you and validates your discovery – the best way to learn something is through experiencing it, and I believe you have just done that for yourself.

      Love and hugs to you,

      • Suzy says:

        Jean, I feel that you give a part of yourself in your blog to us and it’s nice to know a bit about you. I am glad that you have found what you needed for a fruitful life even though as you say it was later in life. Better late than never goes the saying. From what I gather you are very happy and content in your new surroundings and I hope you have found some lovely people that will embrace you and be your friend.
        Best wishes and take care,
        Suzy. XOX

        • Jean says:

          Suzy, you have pretty much nailed it. Yes, I’m happy and content, and life is good. Years ago, I went through a period of terrible rage that I thought would kill me, and that happened when I became conscious. With the help of a therapist, I got through it safely. She told me to let it run, and when it was over it would be over. She was correct. After that – and not before, I was able to feel compassion as I understood the very limited lives my family had been forced to live. Only in recent months have I realized that to come here to this planet to heal was/is what my journey is all about. It is not about the other talents I have that were thwarted by the abuse I suffered, which I’d simply blocked from memory in order to survive. This has given me a great deal of inner peace, because I understyand I’m doing exactly what I should have been doing: my life’s plan was and is perfect, and I am fulfilling it.

          I speak freely about it, because I want others to know what is possible – and that there is a loving Source directing our lives, even though we may not always understand it. For instance, I was very upset about not being able to go home. In retrospect, however, I’ve come to realize that the Universe at this point in time is probably protecting me. I will go home. I must go home – but just not at this time. Maybe I’m needed on my blog. I don’t know. . . but I’ve learned to trust this wonderful Source.

          Does that make some sense to you?

          Love and hugs,

      • Rachel says:

        Jean, thank you so much for your reply. You are absolutely correct; this was definitely a real discovery for me in that it cemented, in a conscious way, things that had been swimming just below the surface for me for some time. Living in my head has been “normal” for me and the “letting go and trusting” part of this process has been very difficult. Although my anger, pain and fear were much more acute just after waking, this part, oddly enough, been harder precisely because of its subtlety and softness, its deeper, very different sort of love and well, QUIET. I have been a judgmental, “sledgehammer and ram it through” sort of person a lot in the past so I uhm, had no practice at the experiential part. 😉 This isn’t something you can read the textbook on and ace the test! LOL

        So many little things you have said in your reply to me remind me of myself. Past traumas and the stunting of talents; the horrible weight of others who just can’t connect pressing, pressing down and blocking you. I too have felt and experienced those things. It has been difficult, but I feel the lightening of the burden finally becoming tangible and lasting. I have moved through so very many layers of self-abuse/negativity that some days it seems there is nothing left to peel away. The good news is, I have begun to feel a tangible difference in the layers recently. They are lighter, less gross, less opaque.

        It reminds me so much of the day I “hit zero.” Have you ever seen a number scale, with zero in the middle, and negative numbers (usually on the left) and positive numbers (usually on the right)? I distinctly remember my vibration hitting zero on that scale. Before that day I was almost constantly feeling awful, no matter what I did, learned or let go of. On that day, I had true respite and small amounts of positive traction in my vibration. After that, it was a general “up and away!” motion, with stumbling of course. 😉 Well, in a very real way, I feel that I have in the last several days hit my New Zero. My heart is speaking louder and louder and I am able to hear it better and better. Having Source Love for myself and others has gone from the impossible dream that I had only read about to something that I now know in my heart is within my range. What a wonderful feeling!

        I find recently I talk less, listen more, serve more, love more. I find as I become who I really am, the inner chaos goes quieter, my need for outside validation ebbs and my presence increasingly helps others release. It feels so good! I hope that you get that feeling when you read these comments on your blog, because you are helping it to happen, just by being Jean. ❤

        Finally, your comment about others being worthy and not “less” just because they are choosing to not go through the 3D veil is right on! Every time I believe I have that lesson down pat, I receive another version of it and I must learn a new aspect of it. Thank you for helping me to “connect the dots” in my own inner work on this subject and many others. Blessings to you!!
        Love, Rachel

        • Jean says:

          Rachel, it sounds like your energy is finally shifting and running through your body differently, steadily and evenly. That in-between time, when it’s running all over the place is a kind of hell in itself. You are beginning to settle in, and it sounds like you appreciate this new quiet without the chaos. Good for you! by the way, I like your description of hitting zero! For me, it was my daily climb out of a deep, dark well – by only my fingernails. Sometimes only a few inches a day, but as long as I could see that little success, I was able to keep going. As far as being quiet, notice people who run their mouths and say nothing at all. I used to marvel at how much chatter there was. It’s a way of connecting – outside themselves – because they are not connected to the place of peace within. Their minds run the show, and are always dishing up ‘thoughts’, and someof those thoughts are unpleasant. I had a critical inner voice that I had to learn to shut down! If I did one thing, it was telling me maybe I should have done the other. This was because I’d never lived in the moment, accepting my words for what they were at that given time. As you can see, I have lots to say, but not about my niece who broke her arm, the terrible doctors she has had, etc. This is not unimportant, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that with too many people, that is all there is. Sad, I think.

          We do get back to the light – if that is really our intention and we are willing to face our fears, and you are proving it! I’m so proud of you!

          Love and hugs,

          • Rachel says:

            Oh Jean! LOL “As far as being quiet, notice people who run their mouths and say nothing at all. I used to marvel at how much chatter there was. It’s a way of connecting – outside themselves – because they are not connected to the place of peace within. Their minds run the show, and are always dishing up ‘thoughts’, and someof those thoughts are unpleasant.”

            This was me! And now it’s my mom! LOL It just struck me and amused me. I don’t judge my mom for the above, at all. In fact, I usually enjoy my time with her just because I’m being around her (I love my mom!!). But this is so so very much her and it just made me laugh.

            And finally, you are SOOOO right about the energy settling in and becoming balanced. I’m loving it! Really really enjoying it. Thanks again for your wisdom. 😉

  4. Gaia Lavender says:

    Jean, sorry for being so knee-jerk. I see what you were going for. Thanks for your wonderful site, I enjoy it very much. And thanks for posting these recent Hancock films – he has gotten better and better at distilling what he’s found out and making it easier to understand. Blessings, –Gaia

  5. Gaia Lavender says:

    I’m surprised to find this article here. Note the frequent ad-hominem language. Anyone who has done a minimal amount of research knows that mainstream archaeology is in lockstep around the idea that North American cultures are not ancient and developed relatively isolated from the rest of the planet. The implications of any other theory lead to uncomfortable places. Masonic-controlled education and media are frantic to hide the fact that before the flood event, the earth was peopled by an advanced worldwide culture. Why is that? Could it be that there was a planned “culling” way back then, to reduce the population to a number that could all be operated on, their dna strands mutilated, creating a dumbed-down version?

    • Jean says:

      Gaia, I posted the article here because there are many people who have never learned about these ancient sites. It gives people an opportunity to decide the truth – the conventional truth in which most of us were raised, or the spiritual truth, which is still emerging. Following this article, I posted Graham Hancock’s wonderful film, “Quest for the Lost Civilization”. By doing that, I had hopes that people might begin to see both sides of the equation. Maybe that was a mistake, but it seems to me we have to be conversant with the lies in order to understand the ‘real’ truth. I have also posted another Graham Hancock video, called Graham Hancock Presenting at the 2012 Conference.

      If the reason for my efforts hasn’t been clear, hopefully this response to your well-stated Comment will help achieve some clarity.

      Thanks and hugs,

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