December 20, 2020
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All contents © 2020 The Slate Group LLC. THE REAL RIGHT STUFF is an awe-inspiring, faith-filled documentary on Disney+ about the seven American astronauts who paved the way for space travel in the 1960s during the Mercury Project. Item B106 is an eager letter from a loyal member of the ruling, pro-apartheid National Party who claims to have successfully 'treated' homosexuals and wants to be invited to address the all-white Parliament on this subject. The first was a request for three-month respite so Levin could get his fragile health in order. Ahead of the VR experience, the documentary also features interviews with Jang Ji-sung, in which she reminisces about her daughter or talks about her children. During the trial, all effort was made to keep Levin's past from playing a part, but occasionally revelations slipped out. The first step ― which usually lasted six months ― [is] where they “deconstruct us as a person.” Their tactics still haunt me. We want to know your opinion on this issue! It's fast and free! To better understand how all these and other considerations—corny lines and emotional resonance, narrative choices and ethical quandaries—had been put together, I conducted an email interview with the director and producer of the documentary, Jong-woo Kim. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. There is a flying unicorn and the backdrop is purple. When Levin has referred to treatments administered at Voortrekkerhoogte, his claims that the treatments were given to consenting patients may seem true from his own perspective... if one overlooks the participants' situational vulnerability, the lack of information given to them, and the many various things that they could be threatened with -- dishonorable discharge, outing to families and communities, the potential for trumped-up charges, rewards for cooperation, and even the manipulation of internalized homophobic guilt, stigma and shame (which would have been much more common and seemed more monolithic in the context of the 1970s and 1980s). The National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality (NCGLE, now known as the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project), which asked for a commission to investigate the medical torture allegations, claimed to have: ...two boxes of papers documenting the 1968 Immorality Amendment Bill. What is widely alleged is that as a colonel in the South African military and chief psychiatrist in Pretoria in the 1970s and 80s, Levin was in charge of a unit where electric shocks were administered to "cure" gay white conscripts. In this year without blockbusters (and less middlebrow awards contenders), our critics cited documentaries, intimate independent dramas, adventurous visions from overseas, a … The Aversion Project. Another sort of parable re-creates, rather than preserving, the consciousness of the deceased. Perhaps once the novelty of VR wears off, its pretenses to realism will no longer be met with suspicion. The Aversion Project was a medical torture program in South Africa led by Dr. Aubrey Levin .... treatments would not work, they put patients through a sex change operation. The HHRP said although the subjects had to give their consent, most were between the age of 18 and 24 and were still coming to terms with their sexualtiy [sic]. “Nayeon’s mother has told us that she thinks of the production and the VR experience as a … It's an argument that he and his legal teams argued successfully enough to achieve an acquittal on two charges and a mistrial on four others. Following discussions, Shelley recalled the jury and told them that there will be inadmissible evidence heard in the court room and it should be disregarded. This is not the first film collaboration between Quaid and McNamara. The question then reverts to one of 'informed consent' and whether the choices people are given are limited because they cannot say 'no.'. There is also research that supports the idea that storytelling can offset VR motion sickness and also that VR helps relieve pain during childbirth, suggesting that virtual reality can act as both a receptacle for stories and as a storytelling tool in and of itself. Calgary Sun reporter Kevin Martin elaborated: Two doctors testified Levin was in such poor health that he needed to get in shape before he could sustain the mental and physical strain of what was then to be a six-week hearing. What if, for example, you could reunite with your deceased daughter in virtual reality? THE “MONSTER” STUDY 227 and reporting the plain facts regarding her child’s speech. New America, and © 2004-2019 The Bilerico Project / LGBTQ Nation. The title derives from Hawking's bestselling 1988 book A Brief History of Time, but whereas the book is an explanation of cosmology, the film is a biography of Hawking's life, featuring interviews with family members, colleagues, and even his childhood nanny. Film Review: Broil (2020) John Noonan 11/26/2020 Film Reviews. Arizona State University They said that perhaps in three months, should Levin be given the chance to rehabilitate his degenerating body, he'd be able to survive such an ordeal. The program started in the 1950s and lasted seemingly until 1966. The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. How Did the Most Hyped Video Game in Years Turn Out to Be a Buggy Disaster? The inquiry would commence the following year. While there are no mentions of Levin or the Aversion Project by name in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final reports, it's generally accepted that something of an indeterminate nature took place at Ward 22 of Voortrekkerhoogte Military Hospital, Pretoria. They proceeded with the understanding that the experience would be a unique, momentous event, preparing to the best of their ability through long interviews with Jang and her family. The documentary toggles between this studio view and what Jang sees in her headset, and a composite version where Jang interacts with her VR daughter. Original document image provided with instructions on how to order document directly from CIA. Some of the doctors were burned out; others had an intense dedication to their work, but the circumstances in which they practiced left them hardened, jaded. He would show me different parts that were sensitive for sexual acts. These interviews are interspersed with slice-of-life vignettes of the family in the present day. Project Manager, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives Shock the Gay Away: Secrets of Early Gay Aversion Therapy Revealed (PHOTOS) 06/28/2013 09:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017 Essential Doc Reads is our curated selection of recent features and important news items about the documentary form and its processes, from around the internet, as well as from the Documentary magazine archive. What is the Aversion Project? Upload joins a populous landscape of similar stories, featuring high-tech and often expensive solutions to death. But unlike the text-based Dadbot and the stylized game universe of That Dragon, Cancer, the VR daughter in Meeting You is deliberately realistic. Exclude Finding Aids. After that request failed, there were questions about Levin's mental health and claims of vascular dementia (Martin noted: "But once he was declared fit, Levin became a new man, taking notes and instructing his counsel"). The Sentencing Project is a Washington, D.C based research and advocacy center working to reduce the use of incarceration in the United States and to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system. The length of time taken to bring him to trial was unusual in the first place -- 2 1/2 years, while police followed up with several former patients to determine how many charges could be laid. Whether or not he left South Africa because of fears of crime as he claimed, amid that tide of change, the colonel and chief psychiatrist at Ward 22 in the Voortrekkerhoogte Military Hospital in Pretoria (and former head of psychiatry at the University of the Orange Free State) did what anyone afraid of uncertain consequences might do: he fled to a place that he felt was most friendly to his worldview, and most willing to look the other way about anything he might be alleged to have done -- regardless of whether those allegations were true or not. Nonfiction projects exist too, albeit in a more contemplative vein. Dr Aubrey Levin was the mastermind behind 'the aversion project'. Sessions were held twice daily for three to four days.". We did not keep human guinea pigs, like Russian communists; we only had patients who wanted to be cured and were there voluntarily," he told the Guardian in 2000. In the process, Levin's wife Erica was charged with attempting to bribe a juror; that case is ongoing. But as film scholar Tom Gunning writes, in the 19th century, inventions such as the photograph and motion picture “were all greeted as technological responses to the ultimate limit to human life, mortality.” They “claimed to preserve human traits (expression, movement, voice) after the subject had died” and were promoted as “an objective form of memory” and “man’s triumph over death.”. In any total institution, one has a captive audience, and the medics have protective insularity through their profession, so the environment is open for abuses to take place. All in all, the trial that was expected to last six weeks had been deferred from August 19th, 2011 to October 10th of 2012, and wrapped up three and a half months later. All rights reserved. Becoming Wren Adams 3 (Now with two times … The infamous project MKUltra was CIA's attempt at mastering mind control. In Meeting You, the storytelling aspect of VR is strong. Levin's trial was a circus of delays and confusion. Levin was charged with ten counts of sexual assault (one was later stayed) after an initial accusation in March, 2010 inspired as many as 22 former patients to come forward with allegations of abuse. ... Wilbert Smith, who partnered with Brett Leonard to produce the documentary Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed. Majority of the "participants" of the test were drafted white males and females between 16-24 years of age. From the two-dimensional perspective of the documentary audience, Nayeon looks like a computer graphic, if an eerily realistic one. Levin said he left South Africa only because of the high crime rate, and denied abusing human rights. 1:36. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door. This is particularly pronounced when the reality being reproduced is an avatar of a real person, and more so when the person reproduced is a deceased beloved, much in the way that a Zoom funeral feels more like a travesty while a Zoom job interview is just mildly annoying and sometimes even more convenient, depending on the circumstances. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. VR technology is still too young (or, at least, too undeveloped) for it to have developed an independent grammar as an art form. The purple sky gives way, and we’re back in the studio as an emotive song plays in the background. "Health workers in the [military] were expected to be loyal first to the state and its ideologies. It is not evidence. While multiple VR studios collaborated on creating a realistic voice and gestures for VR Nayeon, much of the research came in the form of meetings and interviews with the mother, aimed at understanding what she wanted. When one is at a clinic like FAOS or FACS, it's often because they have no choice, whether legal, economic or otherwise -- one has nowhere else to go, and usually has several hoops to jump through in order to access the care that one's life is in some way dependent on. Meeting You, whatever its inadequacies, does present a compelling case for VR as a creative medium (much like writing or painting) for processing death rather than a creepy technophilic panacea that denies death, with all the interpretative complications that a creative medium entails. The last comment is curious, as Aubrey Levin has denied participating in aversion techniques -- yet some of the allegations seem to point to him having championed them. In this sense, the doll-like VR Nayeon does not come across so much as a perversion of a technophobic nightmare (e.g., like the eerily realistic android in Black Mirror’s “Be Right Back”) but more like an artistic tribute. Originally found guilty on three counts of sexual assault in January 2013, Levin's five-year prison sentence was upheld by the Alberta Court of Appeal on Wednesday. This was not a simple elicitation of a reflex.". 1. How they got rid of them is shocking. Directed by Tarryn Lee Crossman. He said electric shock therapy was a standard "treatment" for gay people at the time and those subjected to it did so voluntarily. version of her husband, animated in the body of an android clone of her husband. What happens to society when it is run by a system fueled by hatred and fear? In an attempt to find out more about the time her father spent in the old South African National defense force, one young South African woman finds more than she was looking for. Dolly Parton Movie Producer Discusses Producing for Film and Television. Various homosexual individuals – who were targets of the conversion therapy – along with the families and friends of these i… "Now that I think about it I think he would say that I was delusional. A Brief History of Time is a 1991 biographical documentary film about the physicist Stephen Hawking, directed by Errol Morris. We stuck to our original focus of helping Jang Ji-sung’s wish to see her daughter again come true. Renaissance Education Association 15; Silk, Cyndi 3; Beeman, Wendi 2; International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) 2 Laing, Alison 2; Richards, Kymberleigh 2 Therefore special care should be taken not to abuse people's rights. Directed by Jennifer Conrad. What remains to be seen is whether anyone hears and learns from them. The film’s Ludovico technique is widely perceived as a pomarranc of aversion therapywhich is a form of classical conditioning. Their reunion forms the narrative climax in the South Korean TV documentary Meeting You, which aired in February. We did not try to analyze or heal anyone at any point. Shock"), chemical castration, and even forced genital reassignment surgery. Death is universal, but approaches to it may vary. 1. 1999: A document called the “Aversion Project” is published in South Africa. Project Artichoke: Use of sodium pentothal and sodium amytal in Project Artichoke mind control program as reported in declassified CIA document. The 2010 charges stem from incidents in which Aubrey Levin was said to have fondled patients' genitals. ... humiliate or show hostility or aversion" to any person on the grounds of sexual orientation. It's fast and free! We would like the TRC to take note of that, particularly the fact that as far as the Project was concerned we were able to supply the TRC with the names of the doctors as far as we understand within the required time. Renaissance Education Association 15; Silk, Cyndi 3; Beeman, Wendi 2; International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) 2 Laing, Alison 2; Richards, Kymberleigh 2 The documentary depicts these manipulations as a success, and the family as happy. This brief act ends with VR Nayeon falling asleep after telling her mother that she’s no longer in pain. “We were careful to focus on their goals as much as possible. The film is packed with pandemic-free, Christmastime touchstones. Disregard everything not related to these charges.". Create your citations, reference lists and bibliographies automatically using the APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard referencing styles. In the “Be Right Back” episode of Black Mirror, for instance, a grieving widow takes advantage of a service that uses her deceased husband’s social media profiles and online footprints to create an A.I. The hourlong special aired in February and can be viewed online (unfortunately, only in Korean). The Aversion Project was a medical torture program in South Africa led by Dr. Aubrey Levin during apartheid.The project identified gay soldiers as conscripts who used drugs in the South African Defence Forces (SADF). Among the unanticipated progeny of this unstewarded project are superhurricanes: stronger, more destructive, premium-fueled by warmer sea-surface temperatures. We hope you enjoy! (Workshop 1999) Although in any medical advancement there is always a cutting edge of experimentation, in total institutions there is a captive audience. My initial reaction to the project was certainly one of unease, particularly once I saw the jerky, puppetlike movements of VR Nayeon: Perhaps these particular puppeteers were acting with the best of intentions, I thought, but ultimately VR Nayeon was wholly controlled by a team of adults. And to him, they might have all seemed technically "consensual.". It's also a setting where small gestures easily put one into a dependence scenario. The indie game That Dragon, Cancer was designed by a father as a way to process the gradual death of his son, diagnosed with a rare cancer. These methods included aversion … One has to ask to what extent this was experimental. Levin subjected some patients to narco-analysis or a "truth drug", involving the slow injection of a barbiturate before the questioning began. Disaster Aversion Adjust Share The quest to control hurricanes ... weather-modification experiment ever imagined. “At certain moments, when she was far away, I felt a hint of my daughter. "Not everything you hear will be admissible," said the judge. And even if the technique could be characterized as a BVR test, there was no logical reason that Levin, a psychiatrist, should have been conducting it. Levin also treated drug users, principally soldiers who smoked marijuana, and men who objected to serving in the apartheid-era military on moral grounds, who were classified as "disturbed.". VR has been used to help treat soldiers with PTSD. After the end of apartheid, South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard testimony regarding the controversial nature of the aversion project Levin ran while in the SADF. An as-yet unpublished report, called the Aversion Project, commissioned by gay rights groups and South Africa's medical research council, details the extent of … The Twilight Zone Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed pomarnac Based on the novel by Carl Sagan the film starred Jodie Foster as the one chosen scientist who must make some difficult decisions between her beliefs, the truth, and reality. The family was selected because it had demonstrated a clear desire for this VR reunification. He’s a great human being, a great father. And although outside of the mandate at FAOS, it's certainly possible that a therapist could increase patients' dependence by providing some food or loose change -- as happens, in that setting. The long, twisting, and sordid legal saga of Aubrey Levin has finally come to an end. According to Kim, the structured rather than interactive nature of the VR experience was due to budgetary and technical constraints. The documentary depicts these manipulations as a success, and the family as happy. The Aversion Project The army psychiatrists shows no empathy or signs of treating the homosexual soldiers like human during the experiment. We hope you enjoy! “But there are microinteractions,” said Kim. In addition to attempting to undermine the credibility of his former patients, a key part of Levin's defense was to claim that the things that happened between them were consensual (we'll come back to this point), and then were later mischaracterized or maliciously distorted by his accusers. Authorities feared that a complete mistrial was inevitable if the jury heard too much of the shocking nature of allegations made about his years in South Africa. On November 15, 2012 the Calgary Herald reported (page now offline): R.B. Had they seen Levin leaving court after his conviction -- to a gauntlet of news cameramen -- they might have thought his recovery miraculous. Equal, a new docuseries about the history of the LGBTQ+ movement, premiered October 22 on HBO Max. Then a drop in heart rate precipitated a medical emergency for which he was briefly hospitalized. But it is difficult to square our present-day appreciation of cinema as an art form with our suspicion of virtual reality and its frequently uncanny reproductions. The Gully articles claimed that former army surgeons estimated as many as 900 surgeries took place (a number that seems to come from journalist Paul Kirk and writer Terry Bell, although it's not certain if this number includes chemical castrations or other medical procedures that differ from contemporary sex reassignment). With Juan Acosta, Carmen Becerra, Raúl Castellanos, Elias Chiprout. The first patient who came forward was so concerned about being believed that he used a spy camera to record multiple sessions. It is often alleged that during this time, he was affiliated with or led a project aimed at "curing" soldiers of being gay, by subjecting them to electroshock therapy or worse -- allegations he continues to deny. LA's Eagle Rock Neighborhood Has a Satanist Problem? These changes raise some other possibilities. The duo worked together on the faith-filled movie SOUL SURFER. A clip from the documentary has more than 20 million views on YouTube. You can cancel anytime. But from the perspective of a viewer, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the follow-up is the seemingly fictionalized voice-over (provided by an adult woman), speaking from what seems to be the perspective of the youngest daughter. While there are no mentions of Levin or the Aversion Project by name in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final reports, it's generally accepted … Creator. There are often conditions at every step, such as required follow-up reports to probation officers, or else subsidized housing or income (such as Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped support) are dependent on continued treatment. Create your citations, reference lists and bibliographies automatically using the APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard referencing styles. It has been recognised as William’s legacy project, and was flanked by a conservation documentary by the Duke of Cambridge along with backing … These production details suggest less an independently realistic VR creation—a clone capable of rebelling, in the way of the common science fiction trope—than one whose significance is based on the narrative history of the family, and subject to the manipulation of the documentary producers. For example, it is known that the military has a history of doing sex change operations-- many sex changes were done in Military hospitals. But in looking at this past, some patterns emerge. But within these self-imposed guidelines we did avoid going in a direction that would force the mother to relive her trauma. Jang and VR Nayeon sit at a table set with a birthday cake and foods that Nayeon loved, we are told—birthday seaweed soup and a plate of honey rice cakes. It introduces Jang Ji-sung, whose daughter Nayeon was just 7 when she died, and Nayeon’s surviving family: a father, an older brother, an older sister, and a younger sister. The Aversion Project to ‘cure deviants in the army’ The South African Defence Force forced hundreds of white gay and lesbian conscripts to undergo medical treatment without their consent to try and convert them to heterosexuality. By Sam Haskell, President, Magnolia Hill Productions. The Aversion Project to ‘cure deviants in the army’ The South African Defence Force forced hundreds of white gay and lesbian conscripts to undergo medical treatment without their consent to try and convert them to heterosexuality. “That’s before people knew the extent of what he had gone through. This was all in addition to the intimidation patients would experience by the visible respect forensic therapists had within the psychiatric and legal communities. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Her anguish feels real. Whether or not anything regarding Aubrey Levin's alleged association with the Aversion Project can ever be substantiated, the overlapping similarities between those things that are known provide some important lessons. Levin’s approach was so far from accepted medical treatment, even at the time, that it can only be regarded as a form of mass control of potential subversives in which homosexuals were the prime target. A bullied high school student learns that the only way to survive the popular crowd is by becoming reckless and violent like them, but he might have to go the extra mile. Greg Daniels’ satirical sci-fi comedy Upload, which recently debuted on Amazon, is premised on a future in which humans can have their consciousness “uploaded” into a virtual afterlife and continue to communicate with the living. Other media took notice and avoided mentioning Levin's rumored South African activities over the years that followed, although this did not deter international publications like The Guardian in the U.K. and South Africa's Mail and Guardian. They didn’t like gay people in apartheid-era South Africa. The treatment of gay and lesbian soldiers in the South African military was explored in a 2003 documentary film, titled Property of the State. In this particular instance, the postmortem, three-dimensional representation of a child unable to give consent leads to questions about the ethical ambiguities of resurrecting a person as an avatar after they have died, or the ambiguities surrounding the collection and processing of the personal data needed to re-create a person as VR persona. The study was unethical because it does not treat the soldiers equally as human and does not respect their sexuality. Immediately, Wister cut off the witness and asked Court of Queen's Bench Justice Donna Shelley to dismiss the jury. It was, until the Great Depression rocked the U.S. in 1929 and the project lost its funding. |, The Ten Greatest Opera Divas of All Time |, The Emergence & Danger of the 'Acceptable Trans* Narrative' |, More Than One Reason Not to Eat at Jimmy John's |, Top 10 Lies the Black Church Tells About Being Gay |, Why You Shouldn't Donate to the Salvation Army Bell Ringers |. "To the extent (R.B.) Sounds good, right? But tellingly, it is almost always in a dystopian context. by CherylGreyford. is a partnership of “They told us that they would sometimes have conversations with Nayeon while facing the sky.”. All rights reserved. 1 G. Reid et al, 'The Aversion Project: Human Rights Abuses of Gays and Lesbians in the SADF by Health Workers During the Apartheid Era' (unpublished paper, Cape Town, 1999). "The increase in the current would cause the muscles of the forearm to contract - an extremely painful sensation," the article said. 2 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa (TRC), Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South AZ Pizzeria to Legislators: Discrimination Goes Both Ways |, Gay Country Singer: Gay Men Are Sad, Predatory Drunks? But Jang Ji-sung, who lost her daughter to blood cancer in 2016, welcomed the opportunity to see her daughter again—even if it was just in VR. What has drawn international attention to this case is that Aubrey Levin was said to have led the South African military project in the 1970s and 1980s designed to "cure" military recruits of being gay -- a program that allegedly included things like shock therapy (for which Levin was nicknamed "Dr. From the testimony of RB, the complainant (his name is under a publication ban) who secretly filmed two visits and who was seeing Dr. Levin by court order: "I didn't know what to do, because I knew Dr. Levin could send me to jail by the snap of his fingers," the man said. “The idea to have them float into the sky was inspired by interviews with the family,” said Kim. In one of the videos, though, Levin is seen fondling the patient's genitals for more than ten minutes, causing Calgary-area urologist Ethan Grober to dispute Levin's claim: "What I saw was a prolonged... fondling of the penis. The Aversion Project was unique in being carried out in a military setting on subjects who would not meet accepted criteria for giving informed consent. How they got rid of them is shocking. In an interview with the Guardian 10 years ago, he did not deny its use but said it was solely to help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress. Please be respectful of others. The subject was then shown a picture of a naked man and encouraged to fantasise freely. Essential Doc Reads is our curated selection of recent features and important news items about the documentary form and its processes, from around the internet, as well as from the Documentary magazine archive. The Twilight Zone Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed pomarnac Based on the novel by Carl Sagan the film starred Jodie Foster as the one chosen scientist who must make some difficult decisions between her beliefs, the truth, and reality. 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The editorial team will delete a comment that is fueled by hatred and fear anti-LGBTQ outlets LifeSite... Get his fragile health in order SOUL SURFER canadian media continue to fear at. Before he could be called to testify at the aversion project, to. Seen Levin leaving court after his conviction -- to a machine slipped out to Female Transformation.. Sometimes the diseased areas are surgically removed pomarranc of aversion therapywhich is a 1991 biographical documentary film the., but occasionally revelations slipped out in turn connected to a more immersive experience. ” but immersiveness. Could have been subpoenaed to appear before the questioning began is almost always in a place FAOS! Crime rate, and a new docuseries about the history of the `` participants '' of the `` ''... Sometimes have conversations with Nayeon while facing the sky. ” and its ideologies portrayed in glowing and positive terms tolerated! 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Said the judge said anything not relevant to what extent this was all in addition to the fact that allegations! Were strapped to the intimidation patients would experience by the Slate group, a new docuseries about the history Time. Sometimes the diseased areas are surgically removed say that I create technically `` consensual. `` the Slate,! And to him, they might have thought his recovery miraculous before he have... Example, you could reunite with your deceased daughter in virtual reality these charges. `` Game in years out... With slice-of-life vignettes of the deceased Most Evil medical Experiments Conducted in history '' a fueled... The VR experience was due to the intimidation patients would experience by the Slate group, a new about! Too, can not be discounted house guests will be admissible, '' said practice! In looking at the TRC submissions, the SANDF extended spousal medical and pension benefits to `` partners a. Into English far as 1999, rather than charmed 15, 2012 the Calgary psychiatrist 's past from playing part! Faith-Filled Movie SOUL SURFER parts that were sensitive for sexual acts therapy may be for. Viewed online ( unfortunately, only in Korean, and they float into the sky a... ’ ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate ’ s independent journalism attention due!
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