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Facts About Mormons That Will Positively Fascinate You


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15 hours ago, Rain said:

I get where many of these come from, but what about this one?  The law of Moses I think I get.  It's the connect Joseph with the law of Moses and then saying it doesn't include him that I don't get. 

Ya, I couldn't figure that out either.  I'm not sure I even get the law of Moses part though - what's your theory? 

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In Mormonism, there isn’t just one heaven that all good people go to after they die, rather there are three: the Celestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom, and the Telestial Kingdom. The first is where God himself lives; the Terrestrial Kingdom is for those who followed the law of Moses but not Joseph Smith; and the Telestial Kingdom is reserved for those who followed “carnal” morals and were otherwise good people

The telestial kingdom appears to be a cross between the terrestrial and telestial.  The "otherwise good people" part is actually the terrestrial kingdom -

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These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.

And the "carnal" morals (which is not found anywhere in the D&C, so not sure why it is quoted), fits though -

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 The inhabitants of the telestial kingdom will include those who were murderers, liars, sorcerers, adulterers, and whoremongers—in general, the wicked people of the earth (see D&C 76:103; Revelation 22:15).

 

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4 hours ago, jkwilliams said:

One P-day in my mission, our zone rented a bus to take us to the Tiwanaku ruins and Lake Titicaca. Part of the trip involved putting the bus on a ferry barge to cross maybe 1/2 mile of water. There were serious concerns that we were putting ourselves in peril because of Satan's control of the waters. 

Whoever named the lakes in Bolivia had some serious potty humor - lake "titicaca" (that is some pretty serious high elevation, did you get any altitude illness?) and lake "Poopo"?

In one of my areas in the Philippines we had to travel by a little bamboo outrigger canoe with a motor for 2 hours across the coastline and 45 minutes up a river through the jungle to get to a branch.  We would stay up there for 3 days and come back to the main area for the rest of the week.  On one visit we were traveling right at dawn as the sun was setting down.  As we approached the river which was surrounded by rocky cliffs all around with no safe place to dock, a storm surge blew in and the ocean came alive.   How I am alive today, I honestly don't know.  I always felt pretty invincible up to that point in my life.  The ocean humbled me to my core in a matter of minutes!  Being at the bottom of a swell was like being at the foot of a 4 story building being face to face with its wall.  I could literally bend over and touch my nose to its sheer face.  I remember distinctly coming face to face with several walls thinking "ok, I guess this is it...this is my last day on earth".   How that rickety old canoe was able to climb the sheer face of those walls of water without rolling and tossing me into the depths of the sea and crashing my body on the rocky shores, I will never know.  We seemed to have defied all laws of physics.   It was in that moment that I understood why some people believed that Satan controls the waters.    

Edited by pogi
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41 minutes ago, pogi said:

Whoever named the lakes in Bolivia had some serious potty humor - lake "titicaca" (that is some pretty serious high elevation, did you get any altitude illness?) and lake "Poopo"?

In one of my areas in the Philippines we had to travel by a little bamboo outrigger canoe with a motor for 2 hours across the coastline and 45 minutes up a river through the jungle to get to a branch.  We would stay up there for 3 days and come back to the main area for the rest of the week.  On one visit we were traveling right at dawn as the sun was setting down.  As we approached the river which was surrounded by rocky cliffs all around with no safe place to dock, a storm surge blew in and the ocean came alive.   How I am alive today, I honestly don't know.  I always felt pretty invincible up to that point in my life.  The ocean humbled me to my core in a matter of minutes!  Being at the bottom of a swell was like being at the foot of a 4 story building being face to face with its wall.  I could literally bend over and touch my nose to its sheer face.  I remember distinctly coming face to face with several walls thinking "ok, I guess this is it...this is my last day on earth".   How that rickety old canoe was able to climb the sheer face of those walls of water without rolling and tossing me into the depths of the sea and crashing my body on the rocky shores, I will never know.  We seemed to have defied all laws of physics.   It was in that moment that I understood why some people believed that Satan controls the waters.    

I’ve been caught in rough surf many times. It’s terrifying, especially when you think you’re swimming upward but instead hit the sand. 

Titicaca lends itself to jokes, even in Spanish.  Poopó not so much, as it’s pronounced poh-oh-POH. And “poopoo” doesn’t mean anything in Spanish. 

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38 minutes ago, Emily said:

It's serious sociological research into just how deep the human instinct for tribalism goes (pretty darn deep), and in the case of these particular studies, how good humans are at identifying "us vs them" through appearance cues. (pretty darn good)

"Mormons" became a popular target of this type of research because the research team wanted two groups who were socially, ethnically, economically and even geographically similar, etc. -- with the only difference being self-identification with a particular social sub-group.  The fact that there were pre-existing rumors that it's possible to "tell just by looking at them" also made Mormons perfect for the type of research the team wanted to conduct.

The same research team had previously studied "gaydar" for the same reasons -- that is, there were few social differences in the selected men beyond the group they identified with.

Here's a couple of links (they have a "funding" section if you want to see who is paying for it):

Non-members who don't have much exposure to members can still spot members. 

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0014241

Members are better at spotting other members than non-members: https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018589

Popular LDS press take on the subject:

https://www.ldsliving.com/mormon-radar-turns-out-you-can-identify-a-mormon-just-by-their-face-study-shows/s/86968

There's probably other research easily hunted down, but that's enough to get started if you find it interesting.

Research into tribalism interests me, particularly in light of several political events in the recent past. But I also did a talk on the subject for Sacrament Meeting because I think understanding tribalism is essential for these latter days. We need to know all we can about the "natural man" if we have any hope of defeating that particular enemy.

I find tribalism interesting to, for all the reasons you mention.  But in identifying "us vs them" I would have never thought in a million years that I could ID another Mormon by the texture of their skin.  Is this a popular phenomenon/practice that I am just not aware of?  Do other members really assess peoples skin to guess if they are Mormon, or was this idea planted into the test subjects head and tested?  Seems pretty far fetched to me.  We would likely be looking at other cues that I previously mentioned.  Other more reliable cues might be dress and grooming.  It is often not hard to identify Utah Valley Mormon women by how they dress, their perfect hair and makeup and smile.  While a stereotype for sure, it is often fairly reliable.  We might be looking for tattoos, language, and other cues, but skin texture?  Not so much.   Most people don't smoke anymore, green tea and coffee can actually improve skin, alcohol may have a slight negative affect on skin but most don't drink enough to where it would make a noticeable difference.  One of the worst things for skin is the sun...something that many Mormons love.  Can't be seen without a quick trip to the tanning salon! 

I agree that research in those general areas you mention is interesting, but the this specific study, including the results, seems really odd to me.  

Edited by pogi
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4 hours ago, pogi said:

This one amused me:

So, who is funding these studies anyway?  The fact that it sounds like there are potentially multiple studies on this...weird!  Sounds like a good candidate for the ignoble award to me.  Highly questionable results if true.  

It is more likely that the Mormons are identified through other means...  Even without the instantly identifiable Mormon face, it's not hard to pick out some Mormons, and no we are not looking at the skin. 

Romney-Bad-Undeshirt

I remember the study. They did find we were able to pick each other out and iirc figured the ‘look’, the glow was the clear skin. I am not sure if the study proved this or it was speculation that was why. I will try and find it. 
 

added:  I see Emily pulled it up. 

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, pogi said:

Whoever named the lakes in Bolivia had some serious potty humor - lake "titicaca" (that is some pretty serious high elevation, did you get any altitude illness?) and lake "Poopo"?

In one of my areas in the Philippines we had to travel by a little bamboo outrigger canoe with a motor for 2 hours across the coastline and 45 minutes up a river through the jungle to get to a branch.  We would stay up there for 3 days and come back to the main area for the rest of the week.  On one visit we were traveling right at dawn as the sun was setting down.  As we approached the river which was surrounded by rocky cliffs all around with no safe place to dock, a storm surge blew in and the ocean came alive.   How I am alive today, I honestly don't know.  I always felt pretty invincible up to that point in my life.  The ocean humbled me to my core in a matter of minutes!  Being at the bottom of a swell was like being at the foot of a 4 story building being face to face with its wall.  I could literally bend over and touch my nose to its sheer face.  I remember distinctly coming face to face with several walls thinking "ok, I guess this is it...this is my last day on earth".   How that rickety old canoe was able to climb the sheer face of those walls of water without rolling and tossing me into the depths of the sea and crashing my body on the rocky shores, I will never know.  We seemed to have defied all laws of physics.   It was in that moment that I understood why some people believed that Satan controls the waters.    

Did you wait till you got home to tell your parents about this? Some mission stories probably need to wait. :)

Edited by Calm
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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

Did you wait till you got home to tell your parents about this? Some mission stories probably need to wait. :)

I never told my parents that I was sick or how bad our living conditions were. The only way they found out about my knee injury was that the missionary department called and said I might have to go home. 

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8 minutes ago, pogi said:

I find tribalism interesting to, for all the reasons you mention.  But in identifying "us vs them" I would have never thought in a million years that I could ID another Mormon by the texture of their skin.  Is this a popular phenomenon/practice that I am just not aware of?  Do other members really assess peoples skin to guess if they are Mormon, or was this idea planted into the test subjects head and tested?  Seems pretty far fetched to me.  We would likely be looking at other cues that I previously mentioned.  Other more reliable cues might be dress and grooming.  It is often not hard to identify Utah Valley Mormon women by how they dress, their perfect hair and makeup and smile.  While a stereotype for sure, it is often fairly reliable.  We might be looking for tattoos, language, and other cues, but skin texture?  Not so much.   Most people don't smoke anymore, green tea and coffee can actually improve skin, alcohol may have a slight negative affect on skin but most don't drink enough to where it would make a noticeable difference.  One of the worst things for skin is the sun...something that many Mormons love.  Can't be seen without a quick trip to the tanning salon! 

I agree that research in those general areas you mention are interesting, but the this specific study, including the results, seems really odd to me.  

My memory (I will look at Emily’s link to see how close I get) is they just showed faces, so hair and makeup might be part of it, but skin appearance and expression would be main indicators in these cases, I am guessing. 
 

And it wasn’t a conscious ‘I am going to look at their skin’, but rather that was a cue we absorb without thinking. 

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20 minutes ago, Calm said:

Did you wait till you got home to tell your parents about this? Some mission stories probably need to wait. :)

There are still stories about my mission that I have never told my parents (I hope my mom doesn't read this board :)), like when my companion lit me on fire (that was fun).  It wasn't serious, fortunately, but we did get nicknamed King Noah and Abinadi.  

Edited by InCognitus
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From the first link:

”Only photos of headshots were downloaded for use and only those images presenting a directly oriented face free of adornments (such as facial piercings or glasses) were selected for the experiment. Special attention was paid to variation in the faces according to the Mormon Church's appearance codes so that no obvious markers of Mormon or non-Mormon identity were present (e.g., women with more than one earring per ear would likely be non-Mormon and were excluded). Of the remaining photos, we randomly selected photos of 40 Mormon/non-Mormon men and 40 Mormon/non-Mormon women for a total of 160 photos (80 Mormon, 80 non-Mormon) using a random-number generator. All of the targets were Caucasian.

The photos were cropped to the smallest frame that included the sides and tops of targets' hair and the bottom of their chin. Thus, neck jewelry, clothing, and image backgrounds were not visible. The photos were then converted to grayscale and standardized for size. Four naïve research assistants (Cronbach's α = .83) rated each face for affective expression from 1 (Neutral) to 4 (Happy) to 7 (Very Happy), which showed no significant differences between the two groups: t(158) = 0.04, p = .97; none of the targets expressed emotions that did not fall along the spectrum between neutral and happy (e.g., disgust, fear, sadness, anger, surprise, or contempt). A sample photo is presented in Figure 1A.”

Me:  They covered or cropped out various parts of the faces to narrow what the cues could be. 
 

These scores were consistent with the participants' self-reports during debriefing, in which the vast majority reported that they had been guessing throughout the task. Thus, perceivers do not appear to possess much conscious awareness of their ability to extract information about Mormon/non-Mormon group membership from photos of faces, yet they are more accurate than chance in doing so.”

”Participants' accuracy was no better than chance for their categorizations of the eyes/brows [t(24)  = 0.64, p = .53], noses [t(19) = 0.98, p = .34], and mouths [t(21) = 0.37, p = .71]. However, participants' accuracy was significantly better than chance for their categorizations of the faces without hair [t(18) = 2.74, p = .01, r = .54]; without hair, eyes, or mouth [t(19) = 2.38, p = .03, r = .48]; inverted faces [t(19) = 2.48, p = .02, r = .49]; and with outer shape removed [t(19) = 2.26, p = .03, r = .46].”

Me:  So they tested all facial characteristics and narrowed it down to skin rather than participants saying it was the skin.  Since in ‘real life’ we see the whole person, I doubt many would be able to identify the skin as one of the biggest cues we latch on to in our fellow Saints. 
 

——

Accuracy in identifying other Saints probably goes way up when we have the whole body to look at, especially clothing, but I have heard other members describing their ability to identify is based on a certain “glow” and that seems probable to be tied to the skin texture/health cue that was identified in these studies referred to in Emily’s link. 

Edited by Calm
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This description is Mormons is pretty accurate. If you didn’t think we are perceived as weird by outsiders and by many members, you probably do now.

One inaccuracy to dispel is it says the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded in 1830.  Actually, it was the Church of Christ that was founded in 1830. The current name wasn’t applied until 1838.

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29 minutes ago, pogi said:

Can't be seen without a quick trip to the tanning salon! 

Is this a thing now?  I have never heard a member say they go (I don’t have much chance to chit chat these days being mostly at home, save the chatting we do on the board).

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9 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Nowhere in the list do I see that Latter-day Saints have tails.

And here I was, imagining a cleaned and clipped Ted Nugent.

We are better known for our horns. ;) 

My dad was in a major bus accident in college and as a result had two slight bumps on his forehead almost in the right spots and we as kids did tell a few friends when they asked jokingly about having horns that the bumps on Dad’s head were the stumps of his horns.  I wish I could ask him if any of his adult acquaintances bought it when the horn stuff came up.  I think we had one girl going for a bit, but we were 9 or 10 at the time and she was from a very conservative family.  Now how many wives my dad had was a much more fruitful joke as they seriously believed we still practiced polygamy. (This was the 60s)

Edited by Calm
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48 minutes ago, Calm said:

From the first link:

”Only photos of headshots were downloaded for use and only those images presenting a directly oriented face free of adornments (such as facial piercings or glasses) were selected for the experiment. Special attention was paid to variation in the faces according to the Mormon Church's appearance codes so that no obvious markers of Mormon or non-Mormon identity were present (e.g., women with more than one earring per ear would likely be non-Mormon and were excluded). Of the remaining photos, we randomly selected photos of 40 Mormon/non-Mormon men and 40 Mormon/non-Mormon women for a total of 160 photos (80 Mormon, 80 non-Mormon) using a random-number generator. All of the targets were Caucasian.

The photos were cropped to the smallest frame that included the sides and tops of targets' hair and the bottom of their chin. Thus, neck jewelry, clothing, and image backgrounds were not visible. The photos were then converted to grayscale and standardized for size. Four naïve research assistants (Cronbach's α = .83) rated each face for affective expression from 1 (Neutral) to 4 (Happy) to 7 (Very Happy), which showed no significant differences between the two groups: t(158) = 0.04, p = .97; none of the targets expressed emotions that did not fall along the spectrum between neutral and happy (e.g., disgust, fear, sadness, anger, surprise, or contempt). A sample photo is presented in Figure 1A.”

Me:  They covered or cropped out various parts of the faces to narrow what the cues could be. 
 

These scores were consistent with the participants' self-reports during debriefing, in which the vast majority reported that they had been guessing throughout the task. Thus, perceivers do not appear to possess much conscious awareness of their ability to extract information about Mormon/non-Mormon group membership from photos of faces, yet they are more accurate than chance in doing so.”

”Participants' accuracy was no better than chance for their categorizations of the eyes/brows [t(24)  = 0.64, p = .53], noses [t(19) = 0.98, p = .34], and mouths [t(21) = 0.37, p = .71]. However, participants' accuracy was significantly better than chance for their categorizations of the faces without hair [t(18) = 2.74, p = .01, r = .54]; without hair, eyes, or mouth [t(19) = 2.38, p = .03, r = .48]; inverted faces [t(19) = 2.48, p = .02, r = .49]; and with outer shape removed [t(19) = 2.26, p = .03, r = .46].”

Me:  So they tested all facial characteristics and narrowed it down to skin rather than participants saying it was the skin.  Since in ‘real life’ we see the whole person, I doubt many would be able to identify the skin as one of the biggest cues we latch on to in our fellow Saints. 
 

——

Accuracy in identifying other Saints probably goes way up when we have the whole body to look at, especially clothing, but I have heard other members describing their ability to identify is based on a certain “glow” and that seems probable to be tied to the skin texture/health cue that was identified in these studies referred to in Emily’s link. 

That is totally bizarre!  Is our skin really that much better? I highly doubt it. 

43 minutes ago, Calm said:

Is this a thing now?  I have never heard a member say they go (I don’t have much chance to chit chat these days being mostly at home, save the chatting we do on the board).

I don't think it is as popular as it was, but it was huge in the 90's and early 2000's.  I don't think it was necessarily an isolated phenomenon among Mormons though, but it seems like certain Mormons took extra effort to fit in and be visually presentable with the trends.  It looks like the study was done in 2010 so...maybe?

Edited by pogi
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21 minutes ago, pogi said:

That is totally bizarre!  Is our skin really that much better? I highly doubt it. 

I don't think it is as popular as it was, but it was huge in the 90's and early 2000's.  I don't think it was necessarily an isolated phenomenon among Mormons though, but it seems like certain Mormons took extra effort to fit in and be visually presentable with the trends.  It looks like the study was done in 2010 so...maybe?

We were in Canada until 2003 and tanning wasn’t a big deal up there, so perhaps that is why I missed it. 

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1 hour ago, 2BizE said:

This description is Mormons is pretty accurate. If you didn’t think we are perceived as weird by outsiders and by many members, you probably do now.

One inaccuracy to dispel is it says the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded in 1830.  Actually, it was the Church of Christ that was founded in 1830. The current name wasn’t applied until 1838.

Oh, there are lots of inaccuracies, but yah a somewhat accurate description.  A lot of pretty random stuff though, things that I would never think to include in a fascinating overview of our faith.  

Angels

Aliens

Special underwear with symbols

Key phrases and handshakes that allow them into heaven

Satan controls bodies of water

Jesus visited America

God was once a man

Man can be God

There are endless Gods

A giant crystal earth with people who have magic powers

More than one heaven

CIA/FBI saturated with Mormons

Garden of Eden in Missouri

Baptisms for the dead

Pre-mortal life

Expected to have as many children as possible

Mormons live 8-11 years lilonger on average

Handshake to decipher Godly messengers from demons

Mormons can ID each other by the texture of their skin

Joseph believed that men lived on the moon (potentially)

Dinosaur bones may have been transplanted on earth

That is some pretty attention grabbing stuff, even if a lot of it needs some heavy editing and correction.  What a peculiar people we are indeed!  When you add to that all the other Mormon media grabbers with the Daybell's and other Mormon shows, our history of polygamy, etc. and we provide endless curiosity for people indeed.  How boring is everyone else!? :P
 

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I wonder if genetics is a factor. They chose only white faces. There is a higher percentage of white Saints with Scandinavian heritage and Scandinavians are thought to have ‘finer’ skin. I do know that my mother and grandmother (Danish and Swedish and English) were thought be twenty years younger than they were when they got up into their 70s and the dermatologist is very impressed with my skin (pretty much my healthiest organ).  Grandma was vain and did egg whites and all, but Mom didn’t do anything but thank her ancestors for it (but she ate very healthily and exercised until arthritis got too bad).  My older siblings and I lack crow’s feet or any wrinkles (besides one I have between my eyes from squinting as I don’t wear glasses for reading) and we are mid 60s.  For me it is not from any skin care routine as I don’t, but I don’t wear makeup either because it makes me feel smothered, even just lip stick. 

Edited by Calm
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Given our health makes enough of a difference that we live significantly longer, why wouldn’t it make a difference in skin quality?  Our skin doesn’t have to be massively better, just better enough to make a slight difference we don’t consciously pick up on. 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Given our health makes enough of a difference that we live significantly longer, why wouldn’t it make a difference in skin quality?  Our skin doesn’t have to be massively better, just better enough to make a slight difference we don’t consciously pick up on. 

I suppose it is possible that it could all potentially lead to better skin, but I really don't think that would be even remotely recognizable until much later in life.  I suppose it is possible that humans can consciously pick up on extremely subtle differences with skin that we can't consciously perceive of, but that is yet to be determined.  The fact that Mormons were identified potentially by the appearance of their skin without even consciously using the skin as an identifying factor is the weird part.  Unless people had some preconceived idea or historic conditioning that Mormons have better skin, it is really strange that our minds would go there sub-consciously.  

It would be interesting to see if it worked in reverse order - where a study was set up for people to try and identify the people with the healthiest skin, and see if the Mormons were commonly identified.  

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20 hours ago, PeaceKeeper said:

William was present when Joseph Smith met with Parley P. Pratt on February 9, 1843, and shared with him knowledge about how to discern heavenly messengers from Satan and his angels. These instructions related to temple teachings that Joseph had shared with members of his trusted circle while Parley had been away in England.

Temple stuff distorted

Half truths 

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14 minutes ago, pogi said:

I suppose it is possible that it could all potentially lead to better skin, but I really don't think that would be even remotely recognizable until much later in life.  I suppose it is possible that humans can consciously pick up on extremely subtle differences with skin that we can't consciously perceive of, but that is yet to be determined.  The fact that Mormons were identified potentially by the appearance of their skin without even consciously using the skin as an identifying factor is the weird part.  Unless people had some preconceived idea or historic conditioning that Mormons have better skin, it is really strange that our minds would go there sub-consciously.  

It would be interesting to see if it worked in reverse order - where a study was set up for people to try and identify the people with the healthiest skin, and see if the Mormons were commonly identified.  

"Lather, rinse, repeat"

Thrifty Mormons are not stupid enough to use twice as much conditioner as needed, just so they can have a greasy scalp . ;)

 

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