Red Hulke!

This article was originally published in Doctor Who Magazine 489 in 2015. I remain extremely thankful that Tom Spilsbury and Peter Ware agreed to publish such a tangential piece and were so supportive during its gestation, and am also grateful for the permission from the copyright holders Panini UK to reproduce it here. Thanks also to the excellent staff at the National Archive who dealt patiently with my queries in those heady days before the Hulke files were released. All Hulke quotations appear by permission of the Hulke estate.

Malcolm Hulke is one of the key writers in the history of Doctor Who, but he died just before that history began to be documented in earnest, and consequently remains an elusive figure. Over the years, thanks mainly to his colleague and friend Terrance Dicks, a few details about Hulke have emerged, most significantly the fact that he was a committed member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB).

This perception of Hulke as Communist writer has influenced many of the articles written about his work, but until now detailed information about his political beliefs and activities has been unavailable. However, in October 2014, the Security Service – otherwise known as MI5 – released a selection of previously confidential files into the National Archive, as has been its annual practice over recent years. Unheralded, alongside files on nuclear scientist Robert Oppenheimer and Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, was a personal file on Malcolm Hulke covering the years 1947 to 1963. The three folders of documents, in addition to related Home Office papers, give a remarkable insight into the political life of the man behind some of the most intelligent and memorable Doctor Who stories and novelizations.

Hulke’s Doctor Who career was long and varied. He was involved with the programme from its very earliest days, when he was commissioned by script editor David Whitaker to write a six-part adventure called The Hidden Planet. The story was never made, but Hulke kept in touch with the Doctor Who production office until he was finally successful in getting a script – The Faceless Ones (1967) co-written with David Ellis – to the screen. Later, his friendship with another script editor, Terrance Dicks, made him the obvious choice of co-writer when Dicks was given the task of delivering Patrick Troughton’s ten-part swansong The War Games (1969) as an emergency replacement for two abandoned stories. A combination of Hulke’s creativity under stress, speedy typing and unfailing professionalism ensured the script was completed on time, and also gave Dicks and incoming producer Barry Letts the knowledge that, in Hulke, they had a writer they could rely on.

Consequently, during the Pertwee era, Hulke went on to write at least one story per season including Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970), The Sea Devils (1972) and Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974). Just as importantly he, alongside Terrance Dicks, was the main writer of the fledgling range of Target novelizations, which expanded the stories beyond what had been seen on television, and resulted in some outstanding pieces of children’s literature such as Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon and Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters. Hulke eventually stopped writing for television in 1974 and instead began to specialise in non-fiction work. This was partly inspired by the success of the ground-breaking 1972 book The Making of Doctor Who, which was co-written with Terrance Dicks, but with Hulke responsible for the bulk of the text. It was the founding work in the still booming industry of writings about Doctor Who and its production history.

The breadth of his work for the series: scripts, novelizations and non-fiction, would be enough to stake a claim for Hulke’s importance, but the guiding intelligence and compassion of his best writing is what makes it special. Hulke was a political writer who grappled with big ideas about superpower conflicts, colonial uprisings and moral philosophy, but never lost sight of the individuals caught up in these greater forces. This is particularly true of his novelizations. Characters like Butler in Doctor Who and Dinosaur Invasion, Major Baker in Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters, and Trenchard in Doctor Who and the Sea Devils, are variously cruel, foolish and venal, and yet Hulke always manages to show them in a light where, for a moment, the reader feels genuine empathytowards a flawed human being.

Sadly, Hulke died of lung cancer in July 1979 at the age of 54, and left very little in the way of a personal archive, which was in keeping with the private persona that he had always maintained with his friends. It’s ironic then, that the biggest collection of insights into his life, should come from the letters, telephone calls and conversations gathered via MI5’s surveillance of the CPGB.

Hulke’s membership of the CPGB, until now never definitively confirmed, has fortuitously unlocked a large amount of material about his life. The MI5 files include intercepted letters, records of bugged conversations in Communist Party Headquarters (CPHQ), and reports from MI5 undercover agents, or – as they are more commonly known – spies. Any correspondence involving Hulke, and any mention of his name in a CPHQ conversation went into his personal file. Thanks to the extraordinary level of surveillance afforded to the CPGB by MI5, we now know more about this aspect of Hulke’s life than would have been possible in any other way. Only by shadowing the spies ourselves can we finally start to see a fuller picture of Hulke the man, the political activist, and the budding writer.

The historical background to this surveillance work, particularly as it relates to the behaviour of the CPGB and MI5, is important. During the 1930s, members of political parties across the spectrum formed the Popular Front, a movement that aimed to challenge the UK government’s appeasement of Hitler. The CPGB joined the Popular Front against the common enemy and gained a large degree of reflected esteem from this association. The CPGB’s popularity reached its electoral peak immediately after the war when two Communist MPs were returned following the 1945 General Election. This was a high-water mark, and then, largely because of its perceived slavishness to influence from Moscow, the CPGB lost its MPs in the 1950 election, and was thereafter a spent force politically.

MI5 continued to keep the CPGB leaders under close surveillance, because even though it recognised that the CPGB was not much of a political threat, it was concerned about the potential Communist infiltration of the unions. British industry was slowly rebuilding after the war, so any threat to manufacturing was taken very seriously. MI5 responded in such a draconian way that it brings to mind our modern-day concerns about the blanket surveillance of individuals recently revealed by Edward Snowden’s leak of the National Security Agency files. Back in the 1940s and 1950s, MI5 could issue a Home Office Warrant (HOW) to any given address. This would result in all post being intercepted, steamed open and photographed before being allowed to continue to its recipient. At CPHQ, the attention was greater: telephones and rooms were bugged, and an agent was planted undercover in order to eavesdrop on conversations.

The morality behind all of this activity was rather murky. On the one hand, the CPGB was a perfectly legal political party, and even within MI5 there was a concern that HOWs were given out too freely. From the other perspective, the CPGB was a subversive group of fifth columnists funded and run by the Soviet Union. Regardless of these debates, it was the HOW placed on CPHQ that triggered the copying of a letter, and the creation of Hulke’s file, when he first contacted CPHQ for a job in 1947. But even before MI5 took an interest in Hulke, his politics had brought him into conflict with the authorities at a much earlier stage.

Hulke was only 14 at the start of World War Two, and for a great deal of the conflict lived in a guest house in the Lake District owned by his mother Marian, and her companion, Winifred Boot. His mother died in 1943 but Hulke continued to spend much of his time in the Lakes, and when eventually conscripted, after initially attempting to become a Conscientious Objector, he joined the Royal Navy as a trainee canteen manager. Perhaps surprisingly, he was still in the service when he joined the Communist Party. As Hulke later wrote to a CPGB official: “When I joined the Party I knew nothing of Marxism… I joined because it was 1945, because I had just met a lot of Russian PoW’s in Norway, because the Soviet Army had just then rolled back the Germans.”

After the war, Hulke received a terrible personal blow when he discovered that he was illegitimate, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that this revelation affected him for the rest of his life. On a more practical level, he also found out that he had no birth certificate, and therefore was an ‘alien’ in the eyes of the government. He duly applied for naturalization, and the subsequent Kafkaesque correspondence lies within a Home Office file in the National Archive. It’s no surprise that Hulke’s portrayal of Government bureaucrats such as Masters in Doctor Who and the Silurians, and Whitaker in The Sea Devils are so vivid, as he spent the next two years of his life battling the men from the Ministry in an attempt to be recognised as a British citizen.

The Home Office immediately passed on Hulke’s application for naturalization to MI5 in order to check on his suitability as a British citizen. At that stage Hulke was not yet on file and they replied with a standard comment “Nothing Recorded Against”. The Home Office then asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate Hulke and after intensive consultation with the Cumberland Police, the Met reported “This individual is a ‘poseur’ and a professed agnostic with an exaggerated idea of his own importance. Little reliance can be placed on his statements regarding the circumstances of his birth and enquiry shows that he is known as a man with little regard for the truth.”

Leaving aside the rather comical effrontery shown towards Hulke’s agnosticism, this judgement seems exceptionally harsh as he was genuinely unaware of the circumstances of his birth. Police antipathy seemed to be solely based on his radical views, as indicated by a later report which stated that “I am of the opinion that Hulke is inclined to undergo subversive activities, as his whole outlook was in this direction.” Despite this, and after many months of Hulke being bounced around between the Home Office and the Registrar General, a civil servant – although considering Hulke “not a very pleasing type” – agreed to issue him with a ‘special certificate of citizenship’ upon the payment of a fee of £10.

Rather splendidly, Hulke immediately wrote back expressing his pleasure about the decision, but also regretting that he didn’t currently have £10. An obviously irritated Home Office official queried when Hulke would have the money, and he replied: “(a) when I get paid back some of the money various characters owe me, (b) when the tourist season restarts… and (c) if anyone elects to publish the book I’m writing.” Eventually on 22 August 1949, Hulke at last – in effect – became registered as a British citizen. However, while this naturalization saga had unfolded, his membership of the CPGB had hit problems, leading to an ever-growing file and an increasingly interested MI5.

Hulke’s personal file opens with the letter he wrote in 1947 to CPHQ in King’s Street, Covent Garden asking for a job: “My party membership dates from June 1945. For the past 18 months I have been active in the Marylebone Branch… I am very keen… to be employed in a politically useful occupation.” Hulke was clearly committed and idealistic and wanted to move on from his work in the Young Communist League and be ‘useful’ to the Party. Unfortunately for Hulke, the application eventually ensured that the Party would never truly trust him, and instead he became an outsider. A vein of black comedy runs through Hulke’s time in the CPGB, and the unexpected source of his troubles was his illegitimacy and naturalization.

Hulke’s job application was successful, and he was engaged as a shorthand typist, but within only a couple of days, he put himself out of favour in a haphazard fashion. Eager to pursue his naturalization application, Hulke contacted Scotland Yard from CPHQ. The Party officials discovered this, and as well as being alarmed that Hulke had contacted the police so naively, they were even more perturbed when they discovered he was not a British citizen. The CPGB was keen to deny the (entirely accurate) idea that it was controlled by the Soviet Union, and so had a policy not to recruit any foreign nationals. Although Hulke didn’t know it, the CPGB, as well as asking him to leave, had also tried to prevent him from being employed by associated political organisations, but this appears to have failed as he was later taken on by the British Soviet Society albeit for a short time.

The fateful telephone call to the police caused Hulke to become a big topic of conversation in CPHQ, which of course was duly noted by MI5 and added to Hulke’s file. As late as 1961, members of MI5 were still writing memoranda about “the funny story” of Hulke contacting Scotland Yard direct from Party headquarters. Being memorable did not help Hulke, especially as the officials of the CPGB had long and unforgiving memories.

At this point, for various reasons, Hulke moved away from London and back to the Lake District for a few years, but continued to undertake his Party duties by trying to recruit new members. His isolation there removed him from the influence and support of his comrades, and it was around this time that Hulke started to show an amount of scepticism towards the cause. In a letter to Emile Burns – Chair of the National Cultural Committee of the CPGB – he wrote “Sometimes I think that many Comrades – and especially those deeply engrossed in Party life – tend to imagine, rather hopefully, that the rest of the community, though they may be anti-communist or anything else, are linguistically well equipped and polemically astute. What’s more, they don’t always seem to realise that most people regard politics as of not much more importance than football pools or of going to the pictures.”

Hulke was never reticent about communicating directly with Party bigwigs, and appeared to have no time for diplomacy. In 1949 he was infuriated by the lack of response to a letter he sent to the Glasgow local party offering to help canvass for the forthcoming election. His complaint to the District Secretary contained a strong hint of his rising disenchantment: “my point of criticism is that a less experienced Party member might even have been lost to the Party through such deplorable treatment.”

Hulke’s dissatisfaction reached breaking point in early 1951 when he informed the District Secretary that he intended to leave the CPGB. Amongst other things, he cited the Party’s hostile attitude towards President Tito of Yugoslavia, and its line on the Korean War which suggested that the South Koreans were the aggressors. Hulke plaintively commented that “Once a man starts wanting to believe in a thing, it’s just about time he really set about some deep thinking”, but when he expanded upon his split from the Party it seemed that his concerns ran more deeply: “Could it be that Communism is a wonderful idea, but that its philosophy is inherited with some not easily definable something that, at least, in present day society, tends rather to gather to itself mentalities of a not wholly desirable type?…And if that is the case, and if Communism managed to gain control in this country, just what sort of people would we expect to find governing us?” Being so frank would not do Hulke any favours, although he did pledge to keep his resignation a secret so as not to damage the Party. Despite this, he was “Discharged with Ignominy”.

As ever though, other eyes were watching besides the CPGB. The day after Hulke resigned, a letter in the name of Sir Percy Sillitoe, Director-General of MI5 was sent to the Cumberland Police informing them of Hulke’s decision. Superintendent Baum of the Penrith constabulary was deeply sceptical about Hulke’s resignation, and seemed to suspect a trick: “he should continue to receive every attention, as in my view he is a dangerous man, and without scruples, so far as his Communistic outlook is concerned.” Sillitoe advised the police to watch Hulke’s activities “fairly closely” which resulted in him being under more surveillance outside of the Party than when he was in it.

As it happened, the scepticism of both MI5 and the Police was partially justified when in September 1951, Hulke returned to London, and within 10 days asked to rejoin the Party. It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that Hulke, who had been alienated from his mother as a child and later hurt by the knowledge of his illegitimacy, needed some kind of surrogate family. The CPGB was a good fit in theory, but in practice he was unable to communicate with Party personnel without fuelling antagonism. His reapplication brought him into contact with Betty Reid, who was in charge of Party membership, and commonly referred to as the ‘Witchfinder General’ of the CPGB. Reid was a formidable person to have as an enemy, and she – rightly or wrongly – immediately identified Hulke as an “unreliable type”. When writing to her to support his new application he stated categorically that “I have found it impossible to think other than as a Communist” but also continued by saying that his future aspirations were “to hold a Party card, and… I intend to make a published writer of myself – until that goal is reached I do not see my way clear to becoming an active Party member again.”

These somewhat contradictory aims also ensured that Hulke was labelled as a bohemian or artistic type, with Reid particularly objecting to Hulke’s then current involvement with the Notting Hill ‘Progressive and Cultural Club’ which, although effectively the arts wing of the local Party branch, was looked upon by the CPGB as nothing much better than a decadent brothel.

Despite her misgivings, Reid followed up on Hulke’s references, which, being largely negative, resulted in the rejection of his application. The problem was then exacerbated by Hulke’s refusal to accept this decision, and his repeated attempts to force Reid to back down. The CPGB agreed only to review Hulke’s case in a further six months’ time, but his entreaties grew increasingly desperate, first outlining his previous political activity “the Squatting, the Savoy Picketing, the British-Soviet Society, the 1950 General Election” and then became directly confrontational: “I cannot accept your attitude as correct, justified, fair or constructive” before attempting to have the last word by telling Reid he did not want a reply.

Reid was not famous for her patience, and it seems likely that Hulke’s refusal to toe the line scuppered any chance of a flourishing future in the Party. He was now firmly identified as a troublemaker, and the frequency with which he was discussed in CPHQ made him more interesting to MI5. Once Hulke had reapplied to the Party, both MI5 and the police made every attempt to keep tabs on him as he moved with regularity from one rented flat to another. He was finally readmitted to the Party in spite of Reid’s misgivings “I am not very happy about it. I don’t think he’s what you might call a desirable character. On the other hand, I think it’s difficult to keep him out.” MI5 redoubled its efforts to locate Hulke’s new address, and eventually tracked him down in Notting Hill – he had in fact returned to his lodgings in the ‘Progressive and Cultural Club’.

If Hulke was happy to be back in the Party fold, then his mood manifested itself in mischief. A telephone intercept picked up a call from Hulke to the Daily Worker (the organ of the CPGB) asking to place a classified advertisement for a companion on a cycling holiday from Paris to London. Extraordinarily, he gave Betty Reid’s name as his reference, and her exasperation with this was also overheard by the MI5 agents. Her anger was such, that when she later saw an article in the Daily Worker published under the transparent pseudonym (or simple misprint) of ‘Malcolm Hulkey’ she immediately contacted the editor and insisted that Hulke be banned from making any more contributions to the newspaper.

Hulke could do no right in Reid’s eyes. In October 1952, he had his wages stolen from his digs during a branch meeting, and immediately insisted that the Party repay him or he would call the police. Reid found this behaviour deeply suspicious, and for her it was the final straw of many. Only a couple of months later, Hulke realised that he couldn’t stand for a position on the Party Leadership committee because his disciplinary record – of which he’d previously been unaware – barred him from taking part. He wrote to Reid in a fury stating that he “would naturally like to know whether I am in the Communist Party or not”. Despite contesting this blackballing, it was clear that he had no future prospect of gaining a leadership position in the Party. Hulke didn’t know it, but when in 1953 he later wrote to Culture Secretary Sam Aaronovitch (father of Doctor Who writer Ben) asking for extra Party work, MI5 recorded Reid asking Aaronovitch to “help put Hulke off.”

It must have been hard for Hulke during this period as he was living a hand-to-mouth existence, going from one menial job to another, and experiencing problems with his political ambitions in what spare time he had. He continued to do standard Party work – recruiting new members and selling the Daily Worker on street corners – but more productively he was also a member of the stage crew at Unity Theatre, a left-wing amateur theatre group with strong connections to the CPGB. During the time of the Popular Front before the war, Unity reached the height of its success, but in the 1950s it still had a good reputation and had been responsible for starting the careers of Ted Willis (famous for creating Dixon of Dock Green) and Alfie Bass among others. Hulke was never involved in writing any plays presented at Unity, but he mucked in with the stage crew and also designed programmes, most notably for the topical satire ‘World on Edge’ about the Suez Crisis, written by a fellow Unity member named Eric Paice.

Although there were occasional flare ups, Hulke – though still a member of the CPGB – did not engage with its officials in quite the same way after 1953. For a time he had a job as National Union of Students Hostel Appeal Organiser and with his typical flair for publicity managed to get a letter about the appeal published in the Guardian. This triggered more apoplexy from Betty Reid who was incensed when she discovered that someone in the Party had put Hulke up for the post without her knowledge. But despite her anger, and the related blip of interest from MI5, Hulke’s activities were no longer generating the same interest or controversy.

The crushing of the Hungarian Revolution by Soviet forces in 1956 disillusioned a generation of British Communists, and at least a quarter, possibly a third of the CPGB’s membership resigned from the Party for good. Hulke’s reaction to these events is unrecorded, but thanks to the files it’s clear that he did remain a member until at least 1962. However, other evidence suggests that his ambitions in the Party had started to wane over these years. Betty Reid undoubtedly prevented Hulke from progressing in the CPGB, but whether or not that was ultimately a bad thing is an open question, as Hulke’s letters sometimes suggest he was a man trying hard to belong but not really able to believe.

From 1955 onwards Hulke’s life had become more stable for a number of reasons. Firstly, he encountered a much friendlier Betty in the form of Betty Tate, an inspiring Communist activist, recently widowed, who lived in a large house in Parliament Hill with her three daughters. Hulke started lodging in the spare room, and although there was never any romantic relationship with Tate, he quickly became a much-loved member of the household, and helped out with the family’s local community activities such as writing pamphlets for Socialist Sunday School, selling the Daily Worker and running fundraising bazaars. All of these things appealed to Hulke’s organisational and publicity skills, and the communal appeal of the tight-knit local Party group gave him a genuine sense that he belonged, as much as his personality ever could allow that.

Secondly, his mother’s companion Winifred Boot had moved down to London from the Lakes after selling the guest house. With the proceeds, Hulke and Boot bought a property just a street away from the Tates, and established it as a lodging-house. Hulke acted as landlord and handyman, and it was here that he first met a tenant named Terrance Dicks.

Thirdly, and most importantly, Hulke and his friend Eric Paice had “regarded each other’s receding hairlines, and… said: ‘We’re not getting anywhere in this world’”. The two men decided immediately to pursue a writing career. Hulke had only a little experience as a writer, having produced a lurid thriller under a pen name, and a short pamphlet about Unity Theatre, but the partnership found success with startling rapidity. The BBC produced their first script, and then they found regular work for the ITV franchise ABC. Hulke and Paice made several significant contributions to the ground-breaking Armchair Theatre strand of plays, before going on to influence the development of children’s television science fiction with the series Pathfinders in Space. The latter was made under producer Sydney Newman, who would subsequently move to the BBC and go on to create Doctor Who.

Both the CPGB and MI5 looked upon Hulke’s writing career with suspicion. In 1960 one tapped call to CPHQ from a Party official mentioned that they had heard a radio play by him and remarked with surprise that “[Hulke] had opened up a new career”. Reid was, as usual, more concerned with casting doubt on Hulke’s probity. When she discovered in 1962 that Hulke had become Treasurer of the Unity Theatre Trust she “exclaimed and swore. She would not trust that man with money.” Needless to say, Hulke in fact carried out his duties as Treasurer impeccably.

But by that point, Betty Reid’s opinions had no impact on Hulke’s life and ambitions. Although he had split amicably from Paice, he continued to find work, and wrote several episodes of The Avengers for ABC. Offers of work were flooding in. Late in December 1963, Winifred Boot wrote excitedly to one of Hulke’s brothers: “Mac is well, but very busy. He is writing a six-part serial for television, to be produced early in 64, & has just completed a one hour episode for The Avengers series. Somehow, he makes time to see me every day, & last week took me to St Martin’s Theatre, to see The Sound of Music. It was a lovely evening, there & back in his lovely car, with the heater on, I wish your mother had lived to see his success.” The six-part serial was the Doctor Who story The Hidden Planet, Hulke’s first engagement with the series that would ultimately bring him lasting fame. He had successfully put his tangled history with the CPGB behind him, and gained a welcoming home and a burgeoning career. Life – at least for now – was good.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Hulke stopped being a card-carrying Communist at some point in the late 1960s, but his continuing interest in politics is evident throughout his work on Doctor Who. During a rare interview, he commented “Remember what politics refers to. It refers to the relationships between groups of people… even though the other people look like reptiles, they are still a group of people, of thinking creatures… all Doctor Who stories are political.” This general perspective became rather more focused on his Party experiences in the story Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974), which featured a group of intellectual ideologues who have been duped into believing they are travelling to a new and unpolluted world. When Sarah Jane Smith confronts one of the believers, she says “The only reason you want to go ahead now is because you can’t stand being made a fool of! You must never be wrong!” Hulke had encountered this attitude on many occasions, and it again brings to mind his own words about the dangers of zealotry: “Once a man starts wanting to believe in a thing, it’s just about time he really set about some deep thinking.”

Hulke’s MI5 file is a fascinating and welcome find, but it obviously tells an incomplete story, not least because some pages have been redacted and the post-1963 documents still reside in the vaults. It’s a glimpse of Hulke’s life through mail interceptions, bugged conversations and the prism of political paranoia. Whether or not he personally had any idea of how much of his day-to-day life had been captured by MI5, it’s certainly the case that the CPGB was aware it was under surveillance, if not the scale of it. At one point, the Party became so certain they were being spied upon that the headquarters at Covent Garden were comprehensively swept for bugs, but nothing was found. Unconvinced and still cautious, the Party officials set up a specially secure bug-free office that could be used for the most sensitive conversations. This too was immediately bugged by MI5. Surveillance continued right up until the 1970s and 1980s, long beyond the point that anyone other than MI5 saw the CPGB as a credible threat.

The other players in this tale of intrigue are largely anonymous. They are shadowy figures that typed up every conversation, steamed open the letters and photographed the content. In some cases the only trace they leave is a finger caught in the photograph, pressing down on a letter to make it more legible. But not all of them remained unknown. In 1982, yet another Betty, Betty Gordon, confessed to the CPGB that she had been an MI5 agent for 10 years between 1948 and 1958. She’d been recruited at the age of 22, and when she later fell pregnant MI5 were delighted as a baby “was good cover.” Betty Reid took pity on the young woman, and welcomed her into her own home. Gordon ended up with a roof over both her and her baby’s head, took on the role of nanny to Reid’s children, and continued to feed information to MI5. The CPGB’s ‘witchfinder general’ was compromised by a spy in her own house who remained her friend for several decades.

As for Reid, it’s hard to judge her ethics too harshly when compared to MI5’s willingness to inveigle a pregnant young agent into a family home. She also – despite her reputation – had a human side. After the shock of discovering that her friend had betrayed her, she nonetheless didn’t break off contact with Gordon, and remained in touch with her until Reid’s death in 2004. An indication perhaps that when history has dispensed with the ideologies and shabby deceptions, it’s the moments of humanity that somehow persist. Something that Hulke understood very well.

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