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  Mar 24, 2012                  

DSM-5: Is dr. Allen Frances a dangerous man?


As long as the patient will suffer, the cruel will kick."
     ( Rev. Sidney Smith)
As emeritus professor of psychiatry Thomas Szasz put it:

"Psychiatry does not commit human rights abuse. It is a human rights abuse."

"It's not science. It's politics and economics. That's what psychiatry is: politics and economics. Behaviour control, it is not science, it is not medicine."

"It's an epidemic of psychiatry that we are dealing with. We don't have an epidemic of mental illness, we have an epidemic of psychiatry."

                 NEWSPEAK (PSYCHO-SPEAK) - P.S.

I am around - and see yesterday why I may not be every day the coming weeks, but this depends mostly on my health, as usual, and as it is I am doing fairly well, so "I'll do my bit for our community", and write this time about a 'dangerous' US citizen, according to a spokesperson for the American Psychiatric Association, namely about Dr Allen Frances, who was the chief editor of the APA's very own DSM-IV, and who has been the subject of several Nederlogs this year, for which see the index of Nederlog 2012 or here, where I discuss 10 points Dr Frances raised:

- DSM-5: Allen Frances vs the American Psychiatric
   Association (2/3)

In what follows, I shall assume that you know what the DSM-5 is, and why I consider it dangerous dishonest pseudoscience. I have explained this at various places, and here are some recent links:

- DSM-5: A good plan for the DSM-5
- DSM-5: 50 reasons to stop the DSM-5
- DSM-5: The trailer for the DSM-5 of the APA, a full
   subsidiary of Uranus Corp


- DSM-5: Thomas Szasz's ideas about psychiatry

It should perhaps be noted that I am myself a philosopher and a psychologist who always - or at least since I was 17, and read an acclaimed introduction to psychiatry - believed psychiatry is a pseudoscience, and who never was seriously interested in the subject precisely because it is a pseudoscience.

Then again, I got interested in it when I discovered in 2009 that a number of morally sick fraudulent psychiatrists has been slandering and defaming me and millions of others with the disease ME/CFS since ca. 1988, namely by telling the world that I either must be a liar who must love parasiting in the dole or a madman with the dysfunctional belief (shrink-speech for 'delusion') that I am ill.

The reasons psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and some totally deluded or delusive medical doctors say so (what medical doctors really believe is often unclear: No time for any rational discussion between educated adults) are probably one or more of the following:

(1) It produce a great lot of patients for psychiatrists, who all need money, and practice their pseudoscience for money;
(2) it is very convenient for the health-insurance companies, because they can refuse to give medical benefits to patients who are declared insane and can refuse to pay any research in the cause of their continuous pain, exhaustion, and misery;
(3) it is very convenient for the political and bureaucratic authorities, because they can refuse to give dole to people a psychiatrist declares to have "dysfunctional beliefs", all to help save money to save banks and pay the most worthy bank managers' yearly bonuses;
(4) among either class of persons - state or municipal bureaucrats and psychiatrists - there probably is a large subset of folks who enjoy harming, slandering, offending and hurting people who cannot defend themselves: they are sadists who chose their careers - bureaucratic or psychiatric person with power over the lives and chances of others - because of their perversion.

And no: If you have not, like me, argued politely for over three decades that you are ill and are entitled to some help, and are being refused help again and again an again, often with very offensive language, by bureaucrats who clearly love to hurt and harm you, simply because you criticize their morality and illegal decisions, and who are themselves intellectual and moral billionth raters, you are probably not well-placed to make non-delusive guesses about how sadistic bureaucrats and medical doctors (especially of the kind who also are bureaucrats) can be, and love to be, and how exceedingly difficult it is to get them in court or to get even: Your letters are never replied to; your letters are denied to exist; you are being offended - slandered, scolded, threatened, attacked, told you will be murdered: it all happened to me - time and again by bureaucratic degenerates who have no last name, no personal address, often not even a function they allow you to know, and who have no effective personal responsibility whatsoever that a mere citizen could enforce against such anonymous sadistic state servants with ten housands of similar colleagues. Also, all their colleagues protect and believe them: You are not a colleague, and soon you'll find that 'civil servants' are neither civil nor servants, but are often sadistic bastards who keenly enjoy hurting ill people, and are totally beyond your sanction or any punishment.

And yes, there is a large class of such persons - psychopaths and sadists - and they gather precisely at those places they can exercise their perversions, for money, power or influence, and not hindered by a conscience. The existence of such a class of persons also explains why regimes as of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot etc. are humanly possible and can exist a long time: Not because these leaders are insane degenerates themselves (I think they are, but that is not very relevant) but because there are hundreds of thousands or millions likeminded followers who are eagerly willing to execute their orders.

Back to my subject, the derailment of the American Psychiatric Association and their abusive treatment of Dr Allen Frances.

This time I shall discuss another twelve points Dr Frances raised, namely here, in his column on the DSM-5 in Psychology Today:

Am I a dangerous man?

This starts with an explanation of his and my question in our titles in the first part of the first paragraph:

According to this week's Time magazine, the American Psychiatric Association has just recruited a new public relations spokesman who previously worked at the Department of Defense. This is an appropriate choice for an association that substitutes a fortress mentality and  warrior bluster for substantive discussion. The article quotes him as saying: "Frances is a 'dangerous' man trying to undermine an earnest academic endeavor."

Actually, the recruiting by the APA of "a new public relations spokesman" is quite appropriate in an association whose real product is pseudoscience and deceit anyway, and it is also apt and not surprising this person comes from the military, and is not a real scientist (or else I would be most amazed).

Also, this ex-military trained liar lies: Dr Frances may conceivably be dangerous to the APA - I sure hope so: The DSM-5 must be stopped for it is ultra-crepidarian pseudoscientific dangerous bullshit, that when not stopped and used will ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands or millions through false diagnoses or inappropriate medication - but he is not what this military mind suggests, by innuendo, he may be: Something like a terrorist who does not even know the science of psychiatry he is emeritus professor in.

An example of what dr. Frances objects to, and rightly so, is the prescribing of strong anti-psychotic drugs to toddlers or young children, which is a modern psychiatric practice that very probably is quite beneficial to the financial well-being of the psychiatrists who prescribe them, and which must be most profitable for the pharmaceutical companies that sell them, but that seems to be the main motive for dr. Frances opposition to the DSM-5, having seen this went wrong already under the aegis the DSM-IV's diagnoses, that allowed this to happen. 

And dr. Frances should be admired for finding the courage to stand up and protest, while the APA should be derided and despised for refusing to argue the very serious, very dangerous failings of the DSM-5 with him, and instead hiring an ex-military professional liar to do their 'black work', as Stalin called it (and see my  PR, groupthinking and Goffman for some background on PR and related matters): The APA clearly is not interested in the well-being of US citizens if they refuse to discuss their failings with dr. Frances, and instead hire a PR man - a highly trained liar - from the US military machine, to get their way with the public - and namely by slander and defamation, as the quote shows.

And dr. Frances seems mostly right in his second paragraph:

In fact, my criticisms of DSM 5 arise precisely from its obvious failure to be an impartial, meticulous, and consensus academic endeavor. DSM 5 has suffered from a fatal combination of excessive ambition, sloppy method, and closed process. It fully deserves the concerted opposition it has generated from forty-seven professional organizations, the world press, the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the Lancet, and the general public. It has pretty much come down to DSM 5 against the world—not just me.

I agree for the most part, except that I am not - at all - as optimistic as dr. Frances seems to be.

A little later, he states his reason to protest, which surely is both moral and scientific, and quite admirable:

My motivation for taking on this unpleasant  task is simple—to prevent DSM 5 from promoting a general diagnostic inflation that will result in the mislabeling  of millions of people as mentally disordered. Tagging someone with an inaccurate mental disorder diagnosis often results in unnecessary treatment with medications that can have very harmful side effects. I entered the DSM 5 controversy only because I had learned painful lessons working on the previous three DSM's, seeing how they can be misused with serious unintended consequences. It felt irresponsible to stay on the sidelines and not point out the obvious and substantial risks posed by the DSM 5 proposals.

His next paragraph is this:

I don't consider myself a dangerous man except insofar as I am raising questions that seem dangerous to DSM 5 because there are no convincing answers. My often repeated challenge to APA—provide us with some straightforward answers to these twelve simple questions:

After which dr. Frances fires away. He does not answer his own questions, and it is very likely the APA will not answer them, except by more lies and more slander from their rented ex-military professional liar, so I will provide my answers, which are probably not quite the same as dr. Frances' answers, and I will at the end say a little on the probable differences.

So the indented points that follow are dr. Frances's questions, and the unindented text in between consists of my comments. I quote without changes, except that I have removed the links Psychology Today sowed to its own explanations of terms in its section "basics", that this elderly psychologist and philosopher finds far too inane to keep, and that clearly are not dr. Frances' work either.

1) Why insist on allowing the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder after only two weeks of symptoms that are completely compatible with normal grief?

The answer seems to me to be simple: It promises very many more patients for psychiatrists: It extends their market - and indeed that is the main point of the DSM-5: To declare everybody a mental case if he or she is ill of a disease that has no full explanation; to insist that everybody who is ill requires psychiatry; and to serve as a tool to implement state policies on the population.

2) Why open the floodgates to even more over-diagnosis and over-medication of Attention Deficit Disorder when its rates have already tripled in just fifteen years?  

The answer seems to me to be simple: It promises very many more patients for psychiatrists: It extends their market - and look how very well this succeeded with the DSM-IV! Moreover, since these are toddlers and small children: By the time they are adult and in major problems because of the drugs that were forced into them, the crime will be too old to prosecute legally, and the perpetrators had financially rich lives and then will be mostly dead or pensioned. Such a clever schema!

3) Why include a psychosis risk diagnosis which has been rejected as premature by most leading researchers in the field because it risks exacerbating what is  already the shameful off-label overuse of antipsychotic drugs in children?

The answer seems to me to be simple: It promises very many more patients for psychiatrists: It extends their market - and look how very well this succeeded with the DSM-IV!

4) Why introduce Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder when it has been studied by only one research team for only six years and risks encouraging the inappropriate antipsychotic drug prescription for kids with temper tantrums?

The answer seems to me to be simple: It promises very many more patients for psychiatrists: It extends their market - and look how very well this succeeded with the DSM-IV!

5) Why sneak in Hebephilia under the banner of Pedophilia when this will create a nightmare in forensic psychiatry?

The answer seems to me to be simple: It promises very many more patients for psychiatrists: It extends their market - and look how very well this succeeded with the DSM-IV! (And it will be a nightmare only to the small minority of forensic psychiatrists who are not merely in it for the money: The rest will have a legal instrument with which it will be much easier to prosecute people, for political or moral reasons, and won't care much or at all that the legal instrument will based on pseudoscience.)

6) Why lower the threshold for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and introduce Mixed Anxiety Depression when both of these changes will confound mental disorder with the anxieties and sadnesses of everyday life?   

The answer seems to me to be simple: It promises very many more patients for psychiatrists: It extends their market - and look how very well this succeeded with the DSM-IV! (And besides: The DSM-5 - I am convinced, having studied part of it - is designed on purpose to be obscure, ambiguous, and multi-interpretable: This only gives psychiatrists more leeway to enforce their judgments, pills, prescriptions, injections or electro-shocks to others, for money, "in the name of science and medicine". Not even psychiatrists naturally write as ill as they do in the DSM-5, so it must be a craft, rather than a total lack of talent to think or write clearly and rationally.)

7) Why have a diagnosis for Minor Neurocognitive Disorder that will unnecessarily frighten many people who have no more than the memory problems of old age?

The answer seems to me to be simple: It promises very many more patients for psychiatrists - and further as above, with the addition that, besides, pharmaceutical companies will be very glad to have millions elderly and old folks forced to use their pills (if only by threatening them they will get worse, or will - "alas" - have to be sectioned if they don't). Besides... they'll soon be dead, so they will not ask difficult legal or moral questions.

8) Why label as a mental disorder the experience of indulging in one binge eating episode a week for three months?

The answer seems to me to be simple: It promises very many more patients for psychiatrists - and further as above, with the addition that, clearly, if you look into the DSM-5 as proposed, it has been written by a bunch of sick or silly wankers in very dubious mental and moral health, who seemed to have done their utmost to design a psychiatry that would be both unfalsifiable by the criterions of the APA, namely by having made it very obscure, ambiguous, and multi-interpretable, and by taking in as psychiatric diagnoses all those things politicians and bureaucrats would love to have reasons for to persecute legally. Then again, the particular "mental disorder" of "binge eating" has probably been introduced to help politicians to fight obesity by psychiatry: it's a sick and sickening scheme. See also DSM-5: Thomas Szasz's ideas about psychiatry.

9) Why introduce a system of personality diagnosis so complicated it will never be used and will give dimensional diagnosis an undeserved bad name?

The same answers as above apply also, but here the main motive of the APA is probably not more patients but more power, namely by making the DSM-5 as obscure, ambiguous, and multi-interpretable as they can make it, to make their practices unfathomable (except as pseudoscientific bullshit, which is what it is, but which most of the future victims of the APA will not have the knowledge to judge well, and will not dare to raise, and cannot raise with a hope to be supported by courts, if the courts follow the DSMs as they have done for decades now, on the principle that these are diagnoses were reached "by medical science" - which will not be true of the DSM-5).

10) Why not delay publication of DSM 5 to allow enough time to complete the previously planned and crucial second stage of field testing that was abruptly cancelled because of the constant administrative delays in completing the first stage?

My answer is that it was all carefully planned: The APA and the editors of the DSM-5 (many of whom come from several or one cliques of psychiatric conmen who specialize in what they call "psychosomatic medicine", another future cash-cow the APA-worthies mean to milk as dry as they can) have designed the process of evaluating the DSM-5 as an exercise in PR, not in real methodology, in real science, or in real legal morality. The APA wants no rationally and empirically tested or testable science: It wants something that laymen and courts accept as if it is the Bible of Psychiatry, and it wants that Bible to be almost impossible to criticize, understand or refute by laymen, just as the Catholic Church for centuries wanted the Bible only in Latin, so that they could not be found out by most of the laity they parasited upon.

11) Why should we accept ambiguously worded DSM 5 diagnoses whose reliability barely exceeds chance?

The cynical answer is: Because it helps the politicians and bureaucrats to enforce their policies and moral outlooks on the whole population, and because it enriches psychiatrists: who cares whether people - who are not themselves psychiatrists or wealthy and healthy methodologists or logicians - will be misdiagnosed or prescribed dangerous but profitable drugs they in fact don't need at all? Dr Frances cares, I care, some others care, but once the DSM 5 is accepted, almost everyone will pretend to believe the judgments, diagnoses, and enforced prescriptions its psychiatric priesthood will "deduce" from it, as the latest in "psychiatric medicine".

12) And most fundamental. Why not allow for an independent scientific review of all the controversial DSM 5 changes identified above—proposed by forty-seven mental health organizations as the only way to guarantee a credible DSM 5? What is there to hide and what harm is done by additional careful review?  

It's a good question, as were the others, but my answer is again along the above lines: Neither the APA nor the editors of the DSM-5 are interested in real science, in real morality, or in the real effects for real people of their ludicrous and dangerous pseudoscience. They are in it for the money, the power or the kicks, and they want their bullshit to be accepted on faith.

Finally, I said I would say something about the differences between dr. Frances position and my own:

A) Dr Frances is a psychiatrist and indeed emeritus professor in psychiatry. Clearly, he has a much greater faith than I have in psychiatry as a science. (But see also: Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness (interview with him by dr. Gary Greenberg in Wired) and his own A Warning Sign on the Road to DSM-5: Beware of its Unintended Consequences) - dr. Frances does not have complete faith, and has some quite rational and reasonable doubts about the science he taught for years at Duke University.)

B) Dr Frances is - I suppose - a member of the APA and is chief editor of their present DSM, the one numbered IV. Clearly, he has both a greater faith and a much better chance than I have to engage them in some public debate - but the APA refuses. In fact, they have treated him dishonourably and - the right 'archaic' English word - indeed scurvily.

C) It is rather unlikely that Dr Frances has any like my own very extensive experiences with "his" kind of "medical scientists", or with medically trained people who apply a tiny bit of ill-understood psychiatry to one as if they have the relevant "knowledge" and one doesn't oneself, as do the nominal medical doctors who have to assess whether one is fit to work.

For one example (and see my heroic family background):

There is the degenerate municipal medical doctor working for the City of Amsterdam who turned out to have diagnosed both myself and my father as insane, in the year 1984, and namely, and specifically, because my father was an undoubted and knighted hero of the Dutch Resistance against Nazism, and you should know such rare folks with extra-ordinary courage and morality are all insane, according to Amsterdam's municipal bureaucrats, mayors and aldermen of Amsterdam, whose families for the most part were collaborators with the Nazis, also if nominally "Jewish", whereas I must be insane because I had that father (and also "an insane grandfather", I must assume: I do NOT know anyone living in Holland with my kind of background) and also because I complained of muscle aches and exhaustion, as I had been doing since January 1, 1979, when my ex and I fell ill in - effectively - the first year of our university studies, which meant, to the municipal medical sadist, that I could not possibly be ill but must be making things up. Also, I was told I was a malingerer and a liar, and that my father was "an insane strike-leader" .

That's just one "gem" from my many experiences with totally incompetent medical doctors, often quite clearly, as in this case, sick sadists - and this seems to apply especially to the medical assessors of your illness: what frightening sadists I have met when meeting these! - who indulge their perversion because they are all covered and protected, up to and including perjury, by their colleagues - and no: Whatever I tried, I still do not even know the name of this medical degenerate, and the fact that I wanted to know clearly proved to his colleagues that he must be right, also about my father.

"So it goes...". A last difference, probably quite important:

D) I have been ill since 34 years now. In that position, because I am who I am, I have been removed three times from the University of Amsterdam (1977, 1983, 1988), fundamentally because I was not a Marxist and protested the destruction of the universities in the names of Marxism, feminism, socialism, universal equality, and postmodernism while it happened (**), and could have been stopped if the professors and lecturers had been honest, rational and courageous, and had cared for science more than for careerism, money, and status, and I have met very much discrimination because I am clearly unlike most, in my ways of talking, judging and thinking.

Dr Frances, in contrast, has had well-paid healthy decades of being a psychiatrist, an editor, and a professor, and it is most unlikely that he has been discriminated for as much as 1% of the amount of discrimination I have met with, always because I opposed - what were in nearly all cases: the pretensions of - Marxism, feminism, socialism, universal equality, and postmodernism, by fraudulent careerists of the moral equivalence of professor doctor Diederik Stapel, teachings which were from ca. 1975 to 1995 THE ideology under which the University of Amsterdam worked and was organized

That is: I believe that dr. Frances means well, and is much to be commended for having the moral courage to do the right thing, but he has no reason to have as few illusions about the average of mankind, with or without academic, medical or whatever degrees, as I have, and also he is far more loyal to his own profession and teachings than I am - and indeed I am not a psychiatrist, and never collaborated or consorted with them. (And yes, I am a psychologist, but decided already in the first year of my studying it that psychology, likewise, is for the most part not a real science, for the same reason as psychiatry is not: Lack of knowledge how the brain generates human experiences: language, selves, science, mathematics, meaning etc. to this very day are almost completely unknown in terms of brain science - and so either "science" is like talking about the topography of Atlantis or of America before Columbus discovered it.)

Four final points.

First: The main intellectual difference between dr. Frances point of view and my own is probably due to the difference in education: I am extremely well-read in philosophy of science, methodology and logic, which I hoped and expected to be my academic specialities, and he is not, and from my point of view psychiatry is and always has been a pseudoscience.

Second: I am not and never have been against medical care for people who have mental problems, life problems, psychological problems, or whatever you wish to call them, which is also why I never turned against psychiatry: While it was always clear to me that nearly all of psychiatry I read was plain bullshit, plain delusion, or both, there still were people in need of help, through no fault of their own. And it is quite possible, indeed quite probable, that in former days most psychiatrists mostly believed in the particular school they professed, and quite certain that they did not have as much power as postmodern psychiatry does have, with courts implicitly believing in bullshit because a well-paid psychiatrist claims it is "medical science".

Third: Now that I have learned that I have been slandered for over two decades by medical frauds or sadists like Wessely, White, Sharpe, Chalder, Reeves and Holmes (all cheats who have built highly paid careers out of lying about genuinely ill people), and have seen the awful, fraudulent, lying, incompetent, ill-written, immoral, pseudoscientific bullshit that is the core and much of the text of the DSM-5, my conclusion is that the sooner psychiatry is kicked out of medical science, the better it is, and also that, since the DSM-5 is clearly criminal fraudulence without any scientific foundation, it should be stopped and terminated.

Fourth: I wrote this to help people who did not do such studies as I did to understand why the DSM-5 is a moral, rational and scientific major disaster, and why it is dishonest dishonorable immoral bullshit:









           (APALogic - both borrowed from The Niceguidelines.blog)

(*) I am quite proud of this; I think it makes me morally different from most, for genetical reasons, not out of choice, and I have also come to the conclusion that there are frighteningly many psychopaths in politics, in banks, and in medicine, and in the last case especially though not exclusively in the pseudoscience psychiatry.

And I have remarked it before, but it bears repeating: A professor of internal medicine - usually regarded as the bright men in medicine - assured me, decades ago,  that in his (private) opinion psychiatrists, qua "medical men", were mostly the folks who had found out - or were found out, during their basic medical training - that they were not really fit for real medical science: Too afraid of blood; too few motoric talents; or too little real smarts to master the large amount of real science that real medical folks have to master.

So it often are the proven medical misfits who become psychiatrists.

(**) I come from a Marxist family, and gave up that political faith when I was 20. Nearly everyone I met in Holland who pretended to be marxist, feminist, socialist, or postmodernist - nearly all of my generation of betrayers of civilization (Benda: Le trahison des clercs) - was not what they pretended to be, but was collaborating, following fashion, making a career, lying with the majority. And indeed, my whole generation of post World War II children were the ones who destroyed the universities, and pretended to be "leftists", "progressives", "morally inspired" because those were the pretensions that were rewarded with careers and positions in the universities and in politics and in the media.

In contrast with the - literally - tenthousands of would be revolutionaries, who really were phonies, my parents and grand-parents were "the real thing": Persons who dared to risk their lives during World War II, in the resistance against Nazism. And again - also the most likely reason why my parents remained communists: They were quite intelligent persons, but not highly educated - the very great majority of the people of their generation collaborated in World War II with the Nazis (and claimed to be A Member Of The Resistance as soon as the World War II was over).

As I found it in my generation: Almost everyone collaborated and was a careerist, and pretended to believe and feel what their leaders pretended to believe and feel.

Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.
-- March 25, 2012: Made some corrections (missing words and phrases) and inserted some links. Incidentally, what some may call my cynicism - aka lack of illusions about the moral and intellectual gifts of the majority of mankind - has to do a lot with my own experiences, but is not precisely original: See especially De la Boétie, Machiavelli, Mandeville and Swift, who were there first, no doubt through having similar experiences.

My own Swiftian essay "Yahooism and democracy" may enlighten the bold and the brave, and explain why I was repeatedly removed from the University of Amsterdam: I spoke the truth, also when this was dangerous and impopular.


As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):
1.  Anthony Komaroff Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)
3.  Hillary Johnson The Why
4.  Consensus of M.D.s Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5.  Eleanor Stein Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)
6.  William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7.  Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8.  Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
 Maarten Maartensz
ME in Amsterdam - surviving in Amsterdam with ME (Dutch)
 Maarten Maartensz Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Short descriptions of the above:                

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understa, but nds ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:

7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.
9. I tell my story of surviving (so far) in Amsterdam/ with ME.
10. The directory on my site about ME.

See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources
The last has many files, all on my site to keep them accessible.

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