Is belief in hell bad for your mental well-being? Are we better off if we ditch the concept of eternal damnation altogether? These were the questions behind a recent survey that looked at the link between belief in hell and personal happiness, or “satisfaction with life”. The researchers found that those who belief in hell report less satisfaction with life than those who do not, which forces us to ask ourselves why some of us still cling to this concept. And while a link appears to exist, it remains unclear whether belief in hell causes unhappiness, or unhappiness causes belief in hell.

Eternal Damnation and “Life Satisfaction”

oddly enough this idea doesn't make people chipper

oddly enough this idea doesn’t make people chipper

Previous research has suggested that belief in divine punishment leads to lower crime rates and greater economic growth, but there is a trade-off, as psychologist Azim Shariff explains. Shariff, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, and his colleague Lara Aknin, of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, looked at data from various global surveys on the emotional states of people who believe more strongly in hell. The data came from the Gallup World Poll, the World Values Survey, and the European Values Survey and covered 63 countries. Shariff and Akin focussed on people who believe in one, but not the other.

What they found was that the more strongly a country’s people believed in heaven than in hell, the happier that country’s people were; by inference, the more strongly a country’s believed in hell than in heaven, the sadder a country’s people were, or the less satisfaction with life they had. This was assessed partly by looking at the emotional state of the participant and comparing this with their beliefs about hell. Although Abrahamic religions dominated in the majority of countries examined, some non-Abrahamic religions were represented too. Curiously, Shariff and Aknin did not find a significant difference between Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic believers in regard to the link between belief in hell and sadness.

Correlation versus Causation

It is important not to confuse correlation with causation. Just because there is a link between belief in hell and unhappiness does not mean that belief in hell causes unhappiness. It is also possible that unhappiness leads to belief in hell—perhaps grumpy, unhappy people are more likely to have a pessimistic outlook on what awaits them after death. To determine a causal relationship, the researchers conducted their own survey, asking 422 respondents from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to write about heaven, hell, or what activities they participated in the previous day. They then asked respondents to rate the extent to which they were experiencing seven emotions, ranging from happiness to sadness. They found that people who wrote about heaven did not differ emotional from those who wrote about the previous day’s activities, suggesting that belief in heaven alone does not make people happier.

If belief in heaven alone does not make people happier, what does make them happier, as previous research has suggested? “Religious people tend to be happier, or at least they report they are happier, and that is probably driven by the social aspect of religion”, says Shariff, and

Other research seems to back up this claim, suggesting that religion is built around communities which provide various social benefits to its members. Of course, this does not necessarily explain why countries with high rates of atheism, such as Denmark, report being among the happiest countries in the world. There are several possible explanations for the hell-sadness link, Shariff says: writing about hell may prompt negative feelings, it may prompt nonbelievers to imagine their fate if their nonbelief is wrong.

Research into the hell-sadness link highlights an interesting dichotomy: stronger belief in hell might suppress antisocial behavior, thus reducing crime rates, but it also correlates with greater sadness and less overall satisfaction with life. Also, it is important to note that religious belief may not be required to create social harmony—it is just that religion has been the traditional system with which we keep people in check. There may be other ways, too.

What do you think? Do you think belief in hell makes people sadder, or does sadness lead to belief in hell?



The Huffington Post


  1. J. Paul Lanier says:

    I’ve noticed those who believe in hell express more negativity about people, institutions, and society in general. Since depression manifests as negativity, I would say sadness tends to lead to belief in hell.

    1. Jesse says:

      My bros hello my fellow minsters I have watched two people pass away in my lifetime one did not believe in our Lord Jesus Christ hell is very real but its not to late all u have to do is ask Christ into you’re life I love u all. Minster Jesse

    2. High Priest Stephen Osburn says:

      I am from Ulc Celestine Chapel, and the belief in hell Is one of the 9 folds of our doctrine. I am truly sympathetic to those who find hell’s existence depressing, but if hell didn’t exist, Jesus would have said it didn’t in his teachings. It is also important to realize god never sends anyone to hell, but wheather, individuals send themselves to hell by rejecting god and our lord Jesus Christ.

  2. marysbirdworld says:

    People should be depressed thinking about hell, that’s why it’s an effective way to discourage people from doing things that are not kosher, not illegal but not being a good person either in which society accepts from others, even though they shouldn’t. That’s like saying people should not be depressed and jump for joy over the idea of going to jail. I mean it is not going to help soviet by taking away accountability, esp. if the person finds out afterwards that there really was something to hell. And they were not taught that their actions could have repercussions and by that time it’s too late.

  3. marysbirdworld says:

    oh and the idea of going to jail is supposed to make people jump for joy? Maybe if they stop doing bad and sinful things they would not have to worry about hell. You cant teach about heaven with out the flip side. other wise you know what they said about the optimists during WWII, The optimists when to the consideration camps, and the realist or the pessimists went to America. We don’t want to teach people that there is no hell and that everybody is going to heaven automatically because then they won’t worry about any consequences for their actions.

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:

      Then there are those people who point out what GOD says in HIS scripture, and let people see what HE wants, and we still get called judgmental. So be it.

    2. Katie D says:

      I am concerned about the goodness or badness of actions in themselves. For me, I choose to behave well because it makes people happy and helps tend towards a more harmonious community. I don’t need to think that someone will come punish me in order to behave decently, and even if Hell does exist in the way many people think it does, I don’t know how happy God would be knowing that people weren’t choosing to be good to make the world better but solely to selfishly avoid burning in the after-life. I think it’s interesting you brought up motivating people to be good because whenever I’ve seen the “encouragement” of “you’ll burn in Hell, sinner” I’ve noticed that that is the fastest way to get them to stop listening to you because you come of as a bully and antagonist while showing people the benefits to everyone in being good yourself, in my experience that tends to yield much better results.

      1. Daniel says:

        Hell, It’s freewill at the end of a gun. Like the mobster that said IT’s your choice as he points the loaded gun at your head! The threat of pain, suffering, death, or eternal damnation together with freewill “it’s your choice” is not free will at all bat that is the way all the bibles in the land portray GODS version of Free will. Kind of totalitarian/Dictator image, a may way or the hell-way. That is Biblical free will! So Be selfish and bend/submit to GODS WILL and save yourself from the eternal live of burning in hell, that will be just fine and I read it and how it is written,

  4. Kevin DeFranco says:

    Its always good to be encouraging and positive. There is much to be happy about when thinking how great God is, and how nice its going to be to return to Him. Its also hard to accomplish the task of living like we should to attain “spiritual” heaven. Some people need to know there is a heaven, and a hell. coming off as a bully is easy on this site. It seems that 9 out of ten really have a burning hatred for Christians. Instead of being able to tell people all the rewards available through my Savior I spend my time constantly defending scripture from being shredded by non believers. They get down right nasty and condescending, and act like they are the enlightened ones, and we have nothing to offer. There have been times that I have lost it on this site and said terrible, nasty things in reply to direct assaults on my faith. I am not proud of it at all, its embarrassing. I became what I viewed them to be, maybe worse. You are right about the You’ll burn in hell sinner stuff, that’s what drove me away from the Catholic church. All they taught was fear, and damnation while keeping the scriptures a mystery so as to secure their job with you. I broke off and started to research scripture myself, using various tools to break scripture down to better understand it. What I’m not sure of here is whether or not its worse to believe what I feel is the Word of God, or to actually express the Word of God as written. It seems both get equal rebuke here. I guess it would help if they stressed the good parts of being good instead of trying to use goodness as a deterrent to some eternal barbeque. It does scare people and drive them away. Thanks for the post.

    1. the word says:

      yah, it would be best to encourage people to be “good” but good is suggestive, and unless it is defined many people don’t understand that what they are doing can in some or many cases does hurt people. Heck I had a minister try to tell me that somebody else isn’t responsible for hurting somebody else as it is that other person who is responsible for being hurt. the thought of that to me seems just irresponsible, as that excuse can also be taken too far. as others could use that to not take any responsibility for their actions. and since some people have perspectives such as narcissism or other mental perspectives that are not right, they would think that nothing they do is wrong or bad. and the use of the word hell might have been used too lightly but it was used as a word that we humans can are familiar with as a tool to illustrate as a lack of a better word to get the message across that some people in the spiritual word will have to be remove to another place if they have not learned civilized or otherwise acceptable behavior as to help society and individuals to progress. as far as that goes, the same can be said for the word heaven. but just like the being we associate as satin was removed from the populas in God’s kingdom. but the main point I was trying to get across was that we need to have both side of the coin in order to understand why one way is good and the other isn’t, that was all.

  5. Kevin DeFranco says:

    Good point

  6. Theodore Roosevelt Dawson says:

    There are power at be, i call them soul killers

  7. Rev Denny Edwards says:

    First and formost, one has to believe in hell and a devil. I choose not to participate in either. If God made all things, and its all love, then there only love. Period.

    1. Cay Raymond says:

      God made all things and saw that it was good. He made man with free will. That’s where Hell comes from. There was a fight in Heaven, so apparently angels had free will also, so WE choose our destiny. Salvation is free only if we choose it.

  8. revmaybury says:

    The answer to good and bad can be easily ascertained in scripture. In Christ Jesus we find the peace and joy of happiness. The moral code is written on every persons heart. And provided for us in the biblia. 66 books of the bible. Jesus spoke often of hell more so then heaven because he knew many would end up there. Hell is but the place people choose to go when they desire not to accept God and or Jesus as their savior and Lord. It is a place of choice. Believing in the Lord saves us from hell which is the separation of God’s love. We live in a world of order. Therefore justice must exist. If y oh choose to deny or do with out God then you have made your choice to be away from him. So your wish is his command. We get what we have asked for and the only place other than heaven is a place separated from the Kingdom of God and that my friend is hell. Ask for Christ to come into your heart and change the darkness that live within your heart and replace it with light. As for the love of Christ to help you grow toward love. For what is happiness but an attribute of love. And God showed his love for us while we were still sinners by sending his very own son to die for us. That is love. That is joy and for that we are saved.

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:

      Thank you so much revmaybury. Its nice to hear someone talk like you do, especially here. I believe everything you stated here. Happy Resurrection Day. Praise and Glory to God.

  9. Reverend David Bournival says:

    Lets not adhear to the thoughts of phsycology or the notions of men but lets turn to the pages of the author and finisher of our faith Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead. Hell is accourding to the bible a real place made for the devil and those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.To say there is no Hell is to say that the bible the word of God is wrong. God dose not make mistakes, he is soverign, and there is a price to be paid for sin. Hell is real and if you serve the savior you need not worry about it.

  10. May the force be with you says:

    First of all, There Is NO Hell. The only hell is what we put ourselves through here on earth (Urantia). People are generally motivated to do and be good when an authority figure tells them they are going to hell if they don’t…
    You fill in the blank.
    Caligastia, Lucifer and his assistant Satin started the planetary rebellion. This upheaval did not interfere with the progress of organic evolution, it did markedly modify the course of our social evolution and spiritual development. That being said, we would be much better off to follow the light and in order to do that, each of us must find the key. That key to truth and light is within.
    So, If we will seek truth and enlightenment, we will surly be happy.

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:

      There was a great upheaval during the rebellion and God made the earth void. It was knocked off its axis by ninety miles. The Dinosaurs and everything else ceased to exist. All organic matter was interfered with. Jesus Christ is the Light, men exist here until the organic body dies and the spirit and soul goes back to Him that created it. Ecclesiastes 12:6,7. Revelations tells of all the names Satan goes by. All refer to him. Satan, Lucifer, the dragon and more. He is known as the king of Tyre who will burn from within. The best thing you can do is put Jesus in your heart and the light will come on, forever. Man cannot do it alone. The force is God, I hope He finds you. That’s just my belief.

  11. ChiefMichael Hammonds Anderson says:

    It’s hard for me see how they would quantify or qualify such studies. All (that’s right, all) atheists I’ve known have been very moral people.
    Religion was the first government. Government needs a way to punish those who do bad and vice versa. With secular government that’s jail and freedom, fines or “keep your money.” In the beginning, incarceration was difficult. If you put them in another cave, how do you keep them there? Everyone in a tribe was needed too much for survival to guard those in another cave.
    Mankind invented hell to keep people in line.
    Just the idea of eternal punishment makes no sense. Who has done something so bad to suffer forever? Eternity is a long, long time.
    The unofficial Catholic belief of purgatory makes more sense. It’s not a nice place but eventually everyone is thoroughly cleansed to where they can be let out.

    1. Cay Raymond says:

      Why do we persist in creating God in OUR image???

    2. Kevin DeFranco says:

      Ghengis Khan, Atilla the Hun, all the Vandals and ancient pillagers. Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Leaders of the Inquisition, Sorcerers, witches, Satanists, pagans, basically all who go against God. That’s why He is the judge.

  12. d.m.bowen says:

    Anytime people are faced with the fact that there is a punishment for their behavior, there is sadness, no one likes to be punished for their transgressions ,yet as a society today we don’t want to discuss “hell” because it makes people uncomfortable, because so many want to blame everyone else for their failures and problems. You are responsible one way or another for the choice’s you make

    1. Dr Eddie Dees says:

      I like this concept very much. Makes good sense.

  13. Gary Richardson says:

    The entire concept of heaven as a reward for devoutness and hell as a punishment for sinners was created by the early framers of Christianity as a means to frighten the masses into conforming to the wishes of the church heirarchy and to put pressure on them to attend church and continue to TITHE. We were ALL sent here from God’s kingdom to educate and improve our souls to bring further glory to GOD, and we will ALL return to our Holy Father’s loving embrace when our lives here are done. Our personal goodness or badness is something our eternal soul chose as a tool for achieving spiritual growth prior to coming here, and our choices were approved by God prior to our being born. Why would he then turn around and punish us for choices that he approved? Jesus DID NOT come here to die for our sins! Read Matthew chapter 6. (The entire chapter) That is one small portion of Jesus’ teachings that escaped revision by the church. In it, Jesus teaches us to NOT go to church and sit amongst hypocrites, but rather, go into our closet and pray to the Father in private. You see, Jesus was a Gnostic teacher, and he taught the masses to seek God in their own way, using the principles of GNOSIS. Gnosis dictates that an individual seek truth on his or her own rather than letting a governing heirarchy (The church) dictate how he must think.

    Pastor Gary Richardson
    Gnostic Minister

    1. may the force be with you says:

      you are right on

    2. Dr Eddie Dees says:

      The Pastor is right on about Jesus. Just read theBook! It’s all in there.

      1. Gary Richardson says:

        It is good to hear from someone with an open mind. Thank you for using what God gave you! Here’s one of my favorite quotes, from rock legend Frank Zappa: “a mind is like a parachute…if it isn’t open, it doesn’t WORK”

        1. Kevin DeFranco says:

          Frank Zappa also had gross out challenges on stage during his concerts. Once a guy came up on stage and crapped on the floor. Frank Zappa picked it up and ate it. Bon Appetit, Gary.

          1. Gary Richardson says:

            Kevin, first of all, I was thanking SOMEONE ELSE for saying something nice and thoughtful to me. I wasn’t addressing you or commenting on something you wrote. I don’t endorse any of Frank Zappa’s actions nor am I even a fan. His quote stands by itself as a very true statement, regardless of whatever he did on stage. Why are you so hateful? Your comment came off as saying to me “EAT S#*T”, and it wasn’t even YOUR conversation to begin with! I am sure that the Lord Jesus Christ is REALLY PROUD of you for being so intolerant and vitriolic. That certainly wasn’t a shining example of Christian goodwill and caring.

            Here’s another of my favorite quotes:

            “If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”
            Marcus Aurelius
            Roman Emperor, 81 A.D.

            and yet another:

            “The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size”
            Albert Einstein

            Pastor Gary Richardson
            Gnostic Christian Minister

          2. Kevin DeFranco says:

            Hey Gary I just made a comment, everyone here opines. that’s what a blog is. If what I said threatened you, look within. I’m not familiar with your eating habits. I don’t hate anybody on this site, especially my fellow Christians. I don’t think Jesus would care if I chided or gave the razz to someone who holds Him in disregard. You don’t believe in my “beloved Book”, the book that is held by most Christians as the Divinely inspired Word of God. The book that became the Word made flesh and dwelt among us. AKA, Jesus Christ. He puts His Word above His name. I notice that you have a habit of quoting pagans, and guys who have pictures of suffering “bad hair days”, your choice of course; but just another insight as to where you’re coming from. Chill out. You really don’t factor into my belief system just like I don’t factor into yours. Congratulations on having “someone else” say nice, thoughtful, things to you. Carry on, you’ve got your work cut out for you finding something better than the Bible. But that’s all relative to me of course. Oh yeah, Happy Passover.

        2. Kevin DeFranco says:

          Frank Zappa’s parachute by the way, “Opened on Impact”.

  14. tracey scroggins says:

    No it makes me closer to my God’s word an his love for me an man kind . the devil keeps me strong in the love of my savior Jesus Christ ..

  15. Wayne Gibbons says:

    I do not practice a religion. I prefer to have faith that God loves me and I will be with him in paradise. I do not believe God will let me go to Hell. If I treat others as I wish to be treated, and do what is right, I believe I will be with the Father in Heaven. I tend not to worry about Hell. If I fail, I ask for His forgiveness and do what is right to make things better. I cannot undo what has been done. I can strive to make things better in the future.
    If my children do something wrong, I do not abandon them, I forgive them. This is what I believe God does with us. If we beg forgiveness, and are truly pennant, we are forgiven and continually loved.
    As Jesus told the prostitute, “You are forgiven. Go and sin no more.”
    I believe it is so with us. We are forgiven, and are to go and sin no more.
    I may be wrong, but this is what I believe. We are loved by God. Do what is right and treat others with compassion and kindness, and Hell will not consume you.

  16. Troy Stotts says:

    I only have one question. Where in the bible does it offer eternal life except through Jesus? John 3:16 says clearly that Through Jesus we can inherit eternal life and all others will simply “perish”. Do you really think God will physically torture us for eternity for the evil we do in our short life time?

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:

      The blood of Jesus Christ washes away all sin. If you repent and are truly sorry for your sin and your heart is true, God will forgive you when you ask for forgiveness. Jesus said “there is no way to the Father except through me”. All those who have learned of Jesus and accept Him as Lord will live forever. God in His mercy will provide the millennium where all who have not been given the opportunity to know Jesus will be given the chance first hand through Jesus and the elect chosen by God to teach, and prophesy during the millennium. At the end of the millennium, God will judge all. There will be no evil, no tears, no remembrance of those not making the grade. The devil will turn to ashes from within, and all those who still follow him will perish. There will be no eternal burning, they will be destroyed and forgotten. It wouldn’t be much of a “heaven” if everyone had recall of spirits burning and screaming forever, now would it. All those before Jesus, who lived the way God wanted them to are saved. All those coming after Jesus’s death, and resurrection are subject to accepting Him as Lord, and Savior. That’s what the second advent is all about. Have a nice day Troy.

      1. Cay Raymond says:


    2. Cay Raymond says:

      Well, the IRS can do the same thing.

      1. Kevin DeFranco says:

        Cay, we all need a huge refund from the IRS. I know that would lift my spirit! Then we could abolish it!!!!

  17. Thom Keach says:

    Since I don’t believe there is a “hell” I think the depression comes from fear. There are really only two states of mind: Love is one and is supported by the Light of God; number two would be fear which is allowing the darkness to influence your belief in the need to be punished. All visual world is a total illusion in which the ego fights against the Light. I’m doing a Course in Miracles now and would recommend it to everyone of every faith.

  18. Gary Richardson says:

    You ARE NOT wrong, Wayne. Your thoughtful, insightful, instinctual, and open-minded approach to what is the REAL truth of God’s universe is EXACTLY the philosophy that Jesus tried to instill in his followers. He told them to pray to the Father and to follow their instincts. You didn’t even KNOW that you were a Gnostic Christian, did you? Gnostics use “gnosis” (search for truth) to mold their relationship with God rather than letting any church dictate to them how to think and believe. God is proud of you, and so am I!
    Pastor Gary Richardson
    Gnostic Minister

  19. Gerald Ulmer says:

    My conception of hell is a place of eternal pain and suffering. I believe that it is reserved for the truly evil people that, regardless of how many attempts, are not able to realize love, peace, and understanding of other life here on earth. I cannot adhere to the vision of hell being a place someone’s soul is sent simply because they did not adherer to a particular religion. I have never dwelled on hell as a place I will be sent, even though I do believe such a place does exist. There are some people that are void of empathy, have no concern of how their actions affect others, and exist only for their own gratification. Those are works in progress, souls with more time needed to find their path in life. When a person becomes so deviant, regardless of chances, as there is truly no hope for redemption, hell is real. Hell being a reality is what allows me to keep my faith in the face of horrors that man inflicts on man.

  20. joe says:

    God created Hell and and the death of his son.

  21. Kevin De Franco says:

    Gary Richardson, Eccl. 12: 6,7 tells what happens when the clay pot(our body) breaks and where our spirit, and soul go “immediately”. Back to the One who created it. We are here because God gave every living soul a second chance after Satan’s rebellion. Some chose not to go through the Womb, (the fallen angels). Who are locked away until the great day of the Lord. God needs no further glory from man. Scripture tells us His weakest attribute(if any) is better than our best effort. We were allowed to come here without recall of the prior age and to prove we either love Him, or choose to follow Satan. We do not all get a loving embrace when returning to the Father. Luke 16 tells of the great gulf between those who made it and those who didn’t. Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father in the mercy seat and those on the left are in jeopardy of eternal damnation. Jesus DID come to redeem the “original sin” of Adam, and Eve. “He came to defeat death, which is the Devil”. Jesus was teaching of two different men praying. One a very humble man acknowledging his sinful unworthiness before God, on his knees, begging for forgiveness. The other, a Bragging, self righteous, patrician telling everybody how wonderful he is because of the amount of his offerings. Jesus said you would be better to pray in a closet than to act like this guy. As for seeking your own truth, everyone needs guidance, that’s what the Bible is for. It tells us “do not lean to your own understanding”, that’s why God wrote this letter to us. Those who willfully teach false doctrine will be judged first. Hell will not happen until the Great Day of the Lord, when all evil will be destroyed by God, who is a consuming fire. They will be like fat dripping from a spit into the fire. Disappearing into a puff of smoke never to be seen again and forgotten.

  22. berny conley says:


    1. Pastor Gary Richardson says:

      Berny Conley, the only thing wrong with your thought process is your belief that Jesus was a practicing Jew. While Jesus WAS born into a Jewish family, as an adult, he did not teach the tenets of Judaism. Jesus was a Gnostic (root-word GNOSIS, or the seeking of knowledge) and taught his followers to seek a personal relationship with God. In fact, in Matthew chapter 6 is a rather lengthy diatribe on things that Jesus said a person SHOULDN’T do when trying to get closer to God. Specifically, it says DO NOT enter into houses of worship and sit amongst hypocrites who are there just to be seen by their fellow hypocrites. It says that instead, to truly get closer to God, one should go into one their personal closet, out of the view of hypocrites, to pray to the Holy Father, who will give them their reward for doing so. That kind of thinking is what defines a Gnostic like Jesus, and it is a large part of the reason that both the Sanhedron and the Pharisees wanted him crucified. Gnostics were a threat to the established religions, so they were declared heretics, (think “threat” to the establishment) and were often executed for their beliefs.

      The concept of “HELL” was inserted into the gospels by mortal men during the COUNTLESS revisions that were made to the scriptures by the church establishment and by Emperor Constantine of Rome during the COUNCIL OF NICAEA, in which he sought to craft a “perfect” official state religion that would be palatable to the Roman masses. During that council, all references to the equality of women were expunged from the scriptures because the Roman Empire was a VERY male-oriented and dominated society, and any references to female equality might create “unrest” among the female segment of the Empire. HELL was thought to be the perfect tool to use to keep everyone subservient to the church, and to keep them TITHING.

      Pastor Gary Richardson
      Gnostic Christian Minister

      1. may the force be with you says:

        you hit the nail on the head!

  23. Gary Richardson says:

    Kevin, if that is what you choose to believe, by all means, carry on, Sir! But the information that you quote is only as good as it’s source. I am fascinated by people who either know nothing of the true purpose of the Council of Nicaea, or choose to ignore the fact that Emperor Constantine ordered MASSIVE changes to the original scriptures in his efforts to create the PERFECT religion for his beloved Roman Empire. Passages, and in many cases ENTIRE gospels, were either rewritten, or ordered removed and destroyed. So as not to offend the highly male-oriented Roman society, Constantine ordered the removal of all references to female equality with men from the scriptures. Thankfully some of his scholars realized the importance of what they had been ordered to destroy, and proceeded to sneak some of the supposedly “destroyed” gospels into Egypt, where they buried them in earthen jars in the Sahara Desert, where they remained until the 1940’s, when they were discovered by a shepherd. Many more are probably yet to be discovered. They are called the NAG HAMMADI gospels, and reading them will enlighten you. Also, the gospels of Mary Magdalene and Thomas were discovered in an open marketplace in Egypt in the middle of the 20th century. Blind faith in a proven highly-altered set of gospels is contrary to the Gnostic Christian way, a way that considers blind faith without the seeking of further knowledge a dangerous path to follow. It IS possible to develop a personal relationship with God. Seek him as any child would seek his Father. He will respond. Gnostics have known that simple formula for centuries. MY personal beliefs do not come from a Highly-altered text that reflects more of a Roman Emperor’s personal belief system than it does the Word of God. My personal relationship with my Holy Father is my source of inspiration and learning.

    1. may the force be with you says:

      Right again Gary, Have you read the Urantia papers?

  24. Kevin DeFranco says:

    I guess you missed Debra, Ruth , and the head of the theological College that the men used to go to for advice. Her name started with “H”, look it up. Also the new testament speaks of God’s sons and daughters teaching in the millennium, Sir!. News flash, not everyone believes what you believe, or your “personal” relationship either. That’s relative to you only, so don’t be so smug.

    1. Pastor Gary Richardson says:

      If you choose to keep the ways of God “mysterious” and cling to the technique that the churches of men use to keep curious people at bay (“God works in mysterious ways, and it is not for us mere mortals to know, on and on, ad nauseum) that is your prerogative. But there is SO MUCH MORE out there to know other than what is contained in your beloved highly-altered and modified scriptures. The phrase “dare think outside the box” comes to mind. God WON’T be mad if you’re inquisitive, REALLY!

      1. Kevin DeFranco says:

        Richardson, every time Jesus was attacked by the Pharisees and Sadducees, He used Scripture from the Old Testament to combat them. He also taught Scripture in the temple as a teen, He hadn’t started His Ministry yet, so He taught Scripture. Mysterious ways? The Bible is very clear about what God wants, so go pound sand, or whatever you pound. Is that Mr. Gnostic, or Mr. Gnauseous? Peddle your hate of the Bible and Christians to some other choir, we’re not buying it. I don’t subscribe to any faction of Christianity, I am non denominational. Remember who the Word made flesh was you arrogant guttersnipe. Teaching false doctrine will punch your ticket to destruction, God is quite clear on that too. Oh by the way, that’s in the Bible also.

        1. Gary Richardson says:

          WOW! Really struck a nerve, there! When you are having an interesting and technical discussion about differences in belief systems with someone, and their attitude suddenly changes in a negative way and they resort to name-calling, it generally indicates that they feel that they are beginning to lose the argument. For your information, Sir, I am a proud and practicing Christian. The word “Gnostic” does not infer that I do not have love for Jesus Christ or God. It simply means that I DO NOT fear seeking further knowledge. For you to denigrate that and slur the name of my personal belief system is nothing less than arcane thinking, and NOT AT ALL like the much-touted and benevolent, loving way of modern Christianity. You claim that you are not a Christian. For NOT being a Christian, you certainly worked yourself into a lather defending Christianity!

          Pastor Gary Richardson

          1. Kevin DeFranco says:

            I didn’t say I wasn’t a Christian. I said I was non denominational. There is a big difference. I also believe the Bible, is the inspired Word of God. I don’t need to look any further than its pages to know what God expects from me, and how to get back to Him. You go ahead and “think outside the box”, I’ll stick to the pages of my King James,and what’s inside the box. I don’t use the term mysterious ways. If someone asks me, I tell them. If I don’t know, then I research it and get back to them . Lets get something straight, you started the ball rolling by denigrating my “beloved highly altered book”. God said there is to be no book put above His Word. That’s what I believe and could care less what you believe. Have a nice trip, with Carl Sagan, Carlos Castenada, Albert Camus, who ever or whatever. I’m not interested in arguing with you about anything. Nor do I fear losing an argument with an experimenter or anyone else. Keeping curious people at bay, is only relative to those people who want an insurance policy from either losing control over people, or losing their livelihood. I need neither. We are all “mere mortals”, that’s why God wrote His letter to us. I don’t even look at the “new Improved” bastardized versions of the King James, they have added and subtracted scripture in each case and are no use to me. I will defend the Bible, Jesus Christ, and Christianity with every breath I take and if people don’t like it. Tough Stuff.

  25. Ralph Miller says:

    I strongly believe that there is no he’ll.think about this,the BIBLE tells us that God knew us before we were even if our destiny is all ready pre ordained then no matter what we do here weather we go to he’ll or heaven has already been chosen for us from the beginning of birth.Now imagine this…suppose every one knew that their was no hell…this world would be in total chaos

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:

      Ralph, you are an image of what you looked like in the first world age, you were born from above, and came down through the womb into this dimension. You came without recall, of that spiritual state. This is your chance to choose God, or Satan on your own, your choice, you determine your path. Choose wisely.

      1. Ralph Miller says:

        Thanks Kevin,you cleared something up for me.I did recall bits&piecies of the first world.but it was only when God spoke to me and I was in his presence.he spoke in a different language,a language I haven’t heard in a long time( that was before my time)but what was amazing was that he called me by my name from the first world.( only to forget once the conversationwas over)you gave me something new to research.

  26. David Leisure says:

    thanking about hell dose not make me sad if you have your heart right with god you should not have to worry about going to hell just pray and ask god to come in to your heart pray for forgiveness may god comfort you in your life.

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:

      Thank you David, happy Resurrection Day.

  27. David says:

    There may be hell and heaven. Personally I don’t believe in either. I am not afraid. I am not afraid of my ignorance.

  28. Diane Baum says:

    Does the devil make us sad? Hmmm…I believe that the devil, who has always known since God found out about The Lie that Adam and Eve fell into, that his time was going to be limited, is using this time to his advantage to create misery. As his time grows shorter, the misery is increasing. Look at the past 100 years of history especially. Humans’ torture of human in every way possible! Now go back to Scripture, where we are told of the “signs” of Jesus’ second coming…of how we should “Lift our heads up, for our deliverance will be near!” That sounds pretty joy-filled to me. It does not mean that we should take delight in the pain/suffering/torture of others…far from it! We should do all we can to emulate the examples Jesus taught to us. It is our faith that will set us free. Jesus came so that we might have life–and have it abundantly. He did not say, “but only if you are Catholic..or Lutheran…or Jewish”…no! He gave us ALL that life! That eternal promise of reward…we need to believe and act in faith. Faith is the hope of things not yet seen and believing anyway! That message is not meant to be depressing…it is uplifting! If anyone feels depressed by what they see/hear/read in the news…the solution would be to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Acts of charity when done on a spirit of Love, will surely bring happiness to not only the giver but to the receivers as well.

    1. Kevin De Franco says:

      Diane, don’t over load the pagan’s donkey. You threw so much truth at them their heads will spin. Good for you. Happy Resurrection Day.

  29. Rev John Abraham says:

    From the beginning the devil has disrupted human lives.Take Adam and eve,God created a perfect human being in his image to live life in harmony with love,joy,peacefulness etc.Now, who shows up to destroy God perfect work? You guessed it the devil; his intentions was never good from the beginning for man kind and it continued until this day why? The devil knows his time is getting close according to the word of God.Now,allow me to share this scripture with you and perhaps it will help answer the question if their is a hell the book is Luke chapter ,16 v 19-25.The scriptures is full of Christ having confrontation with Satan and also how Christ is going to destroy the follower of Satan and where is he casting them down into the bottomless pit according to the word of God.My belief is their a hell yes…does Satan make you sad yes all according to the scriptures and my comment don’t even touch the surface in the knowledge and understanding of the scripture all taught by the spirit of God not man.

    1. Troy Wallis says:

      It’s nice to have a scapegoat (the devil) and a whipping boy.(Jesus) huh? Come on grow up. Please.

      1. Kevin DeFranco says:

        Tell Jesus that when you meet Him, Wallis. And you will. You better be right, and bring a change of underwear for when you meet the real Jesus, and face the truth.

    2. Kevin De Franco says:

      Pastor, there are lot of in your face Bible haters here. Just plant the seed and let God cultivate it. If it doesn’t take, forget it. He has His plan and they can’t stop it whatever the pagan’s and would be “higher critics” say. Remember, this site has pagan’s druids, Satanists, Wiccan’s and you name it. They try to drown us out, but God can easily maneuver through any amount of evil coming our way. Keep the Faith.

  30. Troy Wallis says:

    I know for SURE that there is no eternal hell fire Damnation. We each have our own sentence to serve in he’ll as well as vacations in this plane of dualities greatest heaven. Between existences. Being a parent and knowing I’d never put my kid in he’ll, what less timeout or the corner for ever, I know God would not send us his “ETERNAL ” hell. Also there is no power or entities in existence equal and opposite of God. Except the Goddess who is just his female half. Nothing can be opposite of God. God is every thing. He every thing and their opposites. And as creator there is no power greater only the destroyer is equal. We are all creators and destroyers.Christians made he’ll and the devil (Satan is not Lucifer and the only devil there is is God himself and the one in each of us) for monetary and political reasons. It is discussing and pitiful to see so many other wise smart souls being sucked into this childish moronic bullshit. Yes I am a Christian basher.the next Christian who says I’m going to hell is getting there face bashed lol. They are the only antichrist.

  31. Rev John Abraham says:

    It’s alway been my fascination with man who never believe in God and yet, they try to interpretate God purpose for man kind.Yet these scientist,scholars,normal man has the notion to think they have the knowledge to do so…think again…does this knowledge come from God?This is something to think about.Remember God is King of King and Lord of Lord theirs no one above him nor anyone that can tell him what to do god speed.

  32. Rev. Donna says:

    It is amazing how much money, which could be used to help suffering people, is wasted on studies each year.
    Everyone is entitled to their own feelings. Does knowing this data change anything? Would it change anyone’s beliefs? Seriously, if we directed all the time & effort & funding spent on these studies, to where it is really needed, the world would be a more positive place.

    1. Kevin DeFranco says:


  33. Rev John Abraham says:

    Troy, I’m sorry for your lack of knowledge in the word of God, but don’t give up their’ s still a chance. Get rid of the macho attitude, repent,keep God laws and humble yourself do good abstain from evil amen.

  34. Rev. Richard Clay says:

    Perhaps those people who are saddened in their belief in Hell, Hades, Eternal Damnation, etc. are fearing for their own mortal souls due to a dissipated, wasted lives, rife with poor treatment of others. I’d be sad if I thought I was ‘going to burn for Eternity.’ Who wouldn’t?

  35. Rev. J Camp says:

    God reveals Himself to us all. He also has revealed himself to us individually. Just as we have done with our own children.

    1. Gary Richardson says:

      Rev. J Camp, you are a breath of fresh air in this discussion! You have broken it all down to a simple, refreshing level that I am in complete accordance with. Thank You!
      Pastor Gary Richardson

  36. JO-ANN says:

    ETERNAL DAMNATION……That is what today is all about…….rather you believe or not in JESUS…..or if the sciptures were written by this one or that one…or changed…or some left out…..WAKE UP………BIBLE PROPHESY….IS BEING FULFILLED……BLOOD MOONS….IRAN…ALL YOU HAVE TO DO WITH OUR “DRIVE THRU” TECHNOLOGY IS GOOGLE IT……THE PAST IS DEAD AND GONE……LET IT GO…….”THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE: let us rejoice and be glad in it…” Psalm 118:24

  37. Kevin DeFranco says:

    Be a watchman Jo-Ann. There are all kinds of strange natural disasters, wars, and rumors of wars, the locust army is swarming in the middle east. The one world system is alive and well. One world currency is in the mix. Edom is rising, the Russian conglomerate is re-forming. Iran getting access to nuclear weapons, and they are an apocalyptic theocracy make no mistake about it This is the generation of the “Fig Tree.” Hold onto your faith with all your might, have a great Passover, Easter, Resurrection Day. You are a child of God, so rejoice and be glad because Jesus Christ is the Living Savior. Remember: “The way of the cross is foolishness for those who are perishing. But for those which are saved, it is the power of God”.

  38. JO-ANN says:

    “HE HAS RISEN”…………

  39. Elizabeth Brown-Shook says:

    Hi friends…as a Catholic, we believe in an awful lot of second chances. That’s why we have the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick (colloquially known as the “Last Rites”). I gave up my belief in Hell a long time ago. I do believe in Limbo where you spend a certain amount of time atoning for anything that wasn’t absolved through Reconciliation or Last Rites, but I don’t believe that anyone suffers eternal punishment. The God that I believe in is made out of love and it’s just not loving to punish someone forever when there are so many paths to forgiveness.

    Sending love…

  40. Thom Keach says:

    Hi Elizabeth: Great comment and I agree with you 100%. There is a Buddhist (or maybe it’s Hindu) saying that I really love and have adopted to use when my Christian friends get too concerned about me going to Hell because I don’t believe as they do. “Truth Is One, Path’s are many”
    Love & Light,

  41. Kevin DeFranco says:

    Hi Elizabeth, I was a Catholic. I went to parochial grade school and High School. I no longer actively engage Catholicism. I engage the Bible. My choice, relevant to me. I f you follow the Bible read Ecclesiastes 12: 6,7. It tells of where the body goes, the spirit, and soul go. Catholic teachings believe if you die in “mortal” sin you go to hell. If you die with “venial” sins that are not reconciled as you call it you go to purgatory where they are purged. Limbo was reserved for babies who were not baptized and died before they were. Read Ecclesiastes. Then read Luke 16. It tells of the great gulf dividing those who made the first resurrection and those who didn’t. Hell does not happen until God judges everyone on Judgment Day, but no one will burn forever. All those not in the Book of Life will go into the lake of fire and destroyed never to be remembered again. That’s why there will be no tears in heaven. It wouldn’t be heaven knowing that your father, mother, brother, sister didn’t make it and are burning horribly forever. All will be like fat dropping into a fire, burning and disappearing never to be seen again. I guess that’s why doing what God wants is so important, the rewards are great, the punishment is final. Again, I believe in the Bible as the inspired Word of God; that’s what I follow, that’s how I approach salvation. Others believe differently, as is their choice. Have a nice day.

  42. JO-ANN says:

    WOW… comments are closed……on the religious freedon ..etc. site…….I SALUTE THOSE IS CHARGE………..”Blessed are those who do not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers…Psalms 1:1 WE FIRST MUST BELIEVE….that we are all his childrens…although all of our paths may be different….to reach any kind of obedience to the GOLDEN RULE…AT LEAST THE GOLDEN RULE….if you do not obey the WORD….PRAY AND OBEY!

  43. Kevin DeFranco says:

    Hi Jo-Ann, hope you are having a great day. I was curious, so I checked that site. Pretty intense. Its ironic that the same malefactor who helped me get enraged, worked his magic on that one too. Hey, I wasn’t there, there was someone who intelligently contested that guy, but to no avail. It appeared to be an

    ‘I’ll put the fire out with gasoline situation”.
    I find it puzzling that atheists, humanists, and pagan’s are such experts on the book that we call the Bible, that which we believe to be the inspired Word of God, yet haven’t learned anything from it but criticizing God and His laws and denouncing those that believe Him, and in Him. How sad. Well, this is all prophesy being manifested . They don’t realize they are part of a process they claim is fictitious. How fitting.

  44. JO-ANN says:

    TRUER WORDS WERE NEVER SPOKEN….they are part of the end prophesy of non-believers…..Jesus taught to forgive…(how many times) love…the “EYE FOR AN EYE” old testament was replaced with his new teachings….BUT, HOW CAN ANY BATTLE END UNLESS SOMEONE IS PREPARED TO BE THE FIRST….TRUSTING THAT THE OTHER WILL FOLLOW SUIT….Its no wonder that the world is full of wars and rumors of wars…and, so many will parish because they have been blindsided by satan into believing that there is no satan………………..OR THERE are many GODS…..they choose to worship theirs..until further notice…..and, there will be further notice.. when they start to see BIBLE PROPHECY FULFULLED….THEN THEY WILL TRY TO CLIMB ON BOARD……LIKE IN THE MOVIE 2012…..WHEN THE GATES CLOSED…..I pray that they at least
    be open to the fact that there just could be something to what we are saying and just take a look at least at BIBLE PROPHESY….AND, DO NOT LEAN ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING ….BUT BY FAITH THE SIZE OF A MUSTARD SEED BEGIN TO BELIEVE IN THE ONE TRUE CREATOR…THE GOD OF THE BIBLE AND IN JESUS …..HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON………..AMEN

  45. Eykob 3 ☆ says:

    I can speak for myself..I naver would have made it without god ⛪ I naver would have made it without sin

  46. Eykob 3 ☆ says:

    I guess im balanced…nobody no’s if haven is real or hell but we do no that good is real and bad….no man or Woman is perfect….

  47. JO-ANN says:

    Let me be the first to agree with you that NO MAN IN PERFECT…..that is why we must put our thoughts on the one who is JESUS…(who gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us)….AND, GOD….and you must USE FAITH….to do this…..because no-one does know these things for sure….that is why there is so much confusion and disharmony…….hense….WALKING BY FAITH….AND, EXPERIENCE GOD AND HIS WORD COMING TO PASS IN YOUR LIFE……I can only speak for myself…..when I say that I sure would raither try the FAITH WALK WITH GOD…AND, BE TRANSFORMED INTO A BORN AGAIN BELIEVER……THAN TO NOT TRY TO SEE IF THIS FAITH THING IS FOR REAL AND FIND MYSELF WITH THE “LEFT BEHIND PEOPLE” ….IT IS SO GLIB TO SAY…..TRY IT YOU MIGHT LIKE IT……BUT, IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO SALVATION AND ANY KIND OF REAL HAPPINESS THAT REACHES INTO THE CORE OF WHO YOU ARE….”what satan (sin) means for harm …..GOD will turn to good”

    1. JO-ANN says:

      You know why we are called……BELIEVERS……Because God moved in our lives and now we
      “BELIEVE.”….BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT…..You will know that you know that you know that it is GOD…JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRIT….working with you in your life!

  48. Kevin DeFranco says:


  49. Thom Keach says:

    Have any of you read/studied: “A Course In Miracles?” Guaranteed to reduce your guilt levels to zero!

  50. Kevin DeFranco says:

    You know what reduces your guilt to zero? Knowing that the blood of Jesus Christ washes away all sin, and repenting for yours. Washed away and forgotten. Change of heart, and go and sin no more.

  51. JO-ANN says:

    I have read the Harbinger……and, I am doing a study on SEPTEMBER 2015 …PREDICTIONS…..
    and, praying for the refugees……their boat capsized on their way to Italy today….wow….so many things happening everywhere….the 2000 snow geese that fell dead from the sky in Idaho on March 17, 2015

  52. Kevin DeFranco says:

    Dear Jo-Ann, it is unfortunate that there are so many who don’t have eyes to see, and ears to hear. Some refuse it, some don’t get the chance. Thank God, for God. He has planned the millennium for those who never got the chance to hear and adhere to His Word, as well as those who just plain refused to believe in Him. How great He is. Happy Sunday.

    1. JO-ANN says:

      Look “UP” and ask yourself… it worth taking a chance for eternity…because of pride….because I think I know what I am talking about ….I am just to smart to believe there is anything to this FAITH STUFF……….THE BIGGEST DECEIT EVER PULLED ON HUMANITY…..
      “Likewise, I say unto you, There is joy in the presence of the angels of GOD over one sinner that repenteth” Luke 15:10

      1. Kevin DeFranco says:

        Thanks Jo, you always have a way of lifting me up out of sparring with pagans and those would be Christians who intend to spread discord with the brethren.

  53. Thom Keach says:

    I still think you folks need to at least read “A Course In Miracles.” If you do I think your minds would rest easier and I know all the guilt you carry would be lifted.

    1. JO-ANN says:

      Christians walk in the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD …..GUILT IS ONE OF THE SPIRITS OF THE SATAN….WE JUST DON’T WALK IN GUILT…….The word of God says that our trangressions have been forgiven and forgotten and that God has removed them from our lives as far as the East is from the West to be remembered no longer…Psalm 103:2
      this is what we walk in…”trust the Promise of God that he will forgive sin and remove guilt, based on the blood of Christ:..1John1:9
      I did go to Marriane Williamson’s website and read a few of her reviews etc….she seems very right -on and I am sure that her book is too……over 35 years ago…I read…”WHAT YOU THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS”….BY Terry Cole Whittaker……another great inspirational read!

  54. Kevin DeFranco says:

    With the exception of those who are evil through and through, forgiving yourself for transgressions is probably the hardest thing for anyone Christian or otherwise to do. Anyone with a conscience, remind themselves constantly of how bad their bad actions were. It is hard but through the blood of Jesus Christ all sin is forgiven ,and He doesn’t want to hear about it anymore after you have repented and had a change of heart. Sometimes you can make restitution to those you’ve offended and sometimes not, but He has forgiven you if you have a contrite heart. The hard part for us is believing what you have done is not the most unforgivable thing ever done. And that God could not possibly forgive someone like you. At this point, guilt is absolutely useless and renders Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross null and void. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. If you believe in Him, believe that His sacrifice is more than sufficient to forgive sin, and obliterate the guilt associated with it. Its O.K. not to forget it as a deterrent, but that’s IT!!! Hell is a reality for those who do not accept God, do not believe His Word, and don’t care about their immortal souls. Those who believe in God, believe in His son, and follow His law to the best of their ability, are bound to make mistakes. That’s part of being human, we are all flawed in this world, and God expects it. That’s why He forgives sin. And He will forgive us all. Belief in hell is useful to many in that it serves as a safe guard for making the choice between good and evil. Some people need this, some don’t. Let those who need it, use it. Those who don’t need it, don’t worry about it. And there are those that just don’t care if it exists or not. I believe on judgment day, hell will exist for a short time, just enough for God to rid us of all evil, and then to disappear forever never to be remembered again.

  55. JO-ANN says:

    He is coming, don’t be fooled
    by the length of a day…..or the
    power in an hour
    He is coming, he’s on his way….
    don’t be fooled, there has been no delay
    He is coming, he’s on his way……
    get ready, be ready, for that….
    longed for DAY!
    REV 22:3 No longer will there be any curse
    REV 22:7 Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the Prophecy in this Book

  56. John A. Owens says:

    The common conception of Hell is hilarious and unbiblical. The biblical definition of death is pretty much the same as the scientific definition–the absence of life. Psalm 146 says that when a man stops breathing, his thoughts perish. Ecclesiastes says that when a person dies, their thoughts, envies, dreams, and knowledge perish with them. Acts 2 says that David was not ascended into Heaven but was both dead, and buried. Jesus said no man had ever ascended to Heaven except He, who had come down from Heaven. If the dead were being either rewarded or punished now, there would be no point in a resurrection, of which the Bible specifically mentions two, and hints at a third. The saints will be resurrected as spirits in the first. The bulk of humanity will be resurrected flesh and blood and stand before the judgement seat. Some, if not most, will be given life in the New World. Those not given life will be cast into a lake of fire and burned up. That is the biblical teaching (in a very condensed form). The idea of eternal torment we now have comes from Dante, who was making FUN of the teachings and beliefs of the people of his time, and were derived from the ancient pagans, and not from scripture.

  57. Kelly says:

    Jesus was the fourth revelation to earth’s spiritual uplifting. The fifth revelation is the Urantia book. There is no hell! We do create hell within depending on how we think. We are here to learn lessons by making mistakes and taking from each mistake the lesson to be learned. We become better. We create the world around us by our thoughts. Did you know that there were ten female apostles?
    If you have never read this book, you are missing out on so much spiritual growth and understanding of how the universe works. And let me leave you with a thought about Eve. We are told she partook of the forbidden fruit which in many pictures is depicted as an apple. NOPE it was sex outside of her bond (marriage) with Adam.
    Like I said if you really want to learn what is going on and how the universe is set up to run, read the Urantia Book.

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