History Main / OpenSecret

31st Jan '16 1:40:03 PM TriumphForks
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Corrected some minor grammatical errors.
This trope is when a particular piece of information is officially declared to be secret... but it is widely known by everyone ''anyway''. The characters might as well not even attempt TheMasquerade, because all the civilians around them know who they are and what they are up to. And that super-secret bit of gossip that no one can ever know? Hate to tell you this, but ''everyone knows it already''. But at the core of the trope, is the fact that even though everyone is fully aware everyone else knows about the secret, it will still be treated like a secret; no one will ever openly admit to know it, and it is a common understanding that it should remain unspoken. Sometimes the occasional knowingly wink and nod will be shared, at most vague allusions or euphemisms might be used, but any and all open discussion and acknowledgement of the secret is completely out of the question. To do so will be viewed a mild faux pas at best, and an outright cardinal sin at worst. As a result, the NaiveNewcomer or the FishOutOfWater will often mistake it for an actual secret, as they don't know that most people already know.
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This trope is when a particular piece of information is officially declared to be secret... but it is widely known by everyone ''anyway''. The characters might as well not even attempt TheMasquerade, because all the civilians around them know who they are and what they are up to. And that super-secret bit of gossip that no one can ever know? Hate to tell you this, but ''everyone knows it already''. But at the core of the trope, is the fact that even though everyone is fully aware everyone else knows about the secret, it will still be treated like a secret; no one will ever openly admit to know knowing it, and it is a common understanding that it should remain unspoken. Sometimes the occasional knowingly wink and nod will be shared, at most vague allusions or euphemisms might be used, but any and all open discussion and acknowledgement of the secret is completely out of the question. To do so will be viewed a mild faux pas at best, and an outright cardinal sin at worst. As a result, the NaiveNewcomer or the FishOutOfWater will often mistake it for an actual secret, as they don't know that most people already know.

* It's fairly well-known that Cheyenne Mountain is the command center of NORAD. This does not tell anybody [[Series/StargateSG1 just what goes on down there,]] and it deflects attention from more important and more secret sites elsewhere. Misdirection, donchaknow. And just to show that they're [[{{Troll}} trolling us]], a door in Cheyenne Mountain with multiple locks on it, labeled "Stargate Command." It leads to [[spoiler: a broom closet.]] This was especially funny to anybody who worked in fast food in the nearby town. For years practically every night Domino's Pizza, KFC, and a number of other fast food joints would send a driver up the mountain trail with a massive order that they would hand off at a guarded gate to guards that officially wasn't there to feed people that [[http://www.norad.mil/about/CMOC.html technically didn't exist]]. It does make people wonder if the people in NORAD just keep the charade going as a joke.
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* It's fairly well-known that Cheyenne Mountain is the command center of NORAD. This does not tell anybody [[Series/StargateSG1 just what goes on down there,]] and it deflects attention from more important and more secret sites elsewhere. Misdirection, donchaknow. And just to show that they're [[{{Troll}} trolling us]], a door in Cheyenne Mountain with multiple locks on it, labeled "Stargate Command." It leads to [[spoiler: a broom closet.]] This was especially funny to anybody who worked in fast food in the nearby town. For years practically every night Domino's Pizza, KFC, and a number of other fast food joints would send a driver up the mountain trail with a massive order that they would hand off at a guarded gate to guards that officially wasn't weren't there to feed people that [[http://www.norad.mil/about/CMOC.html technically didn't exist]]. It does make people wonder if the people in NORAD just keep the charade going as a joke.
23rd Jan '16 9:43:24 AM nombretomado
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* In StephenKing's ''Literature/{{IT}}'', pretty much everyone who's lived in Derry long enough knows about the 27-year cycle of violence, even if they don't fully understand what causes it. Most of them have seen the MonsterClown that's IT's preferred form as well.
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* In StephenKing's Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{IT}}'', pretty much everyone who's lived in Derry long enough knows about the 27-year cycle of violence, even if they don't fully understand what causes it. Most of them have seen the MonsterClown that's IT's preferred form as well.
30th Dec '15 3:28:40 PM TheAmazingBlachman
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This trope is when a particular piece of information is officially declared to be secret... but it is widely known by everyone ''anyway''. The characters might as well not even attempt TheMasquerade, because all the civilians around them know who they are and what they are up to. And that super-secret bit of gossip that no one can ever know? Hate to tell you this, but ''everyone knows it already''. But at the core of the trope, is the fact that even though everyone is fully aware everyone else knows about the secret, it will still be treated like a secret; no one will ever openly admit to know it. Sometimes the occasional knowingly wink and nod will be shared, at most vague allusions or euphemisms might be used, but any and all open discussion and acknowledgement of the secret is completely out of the question. As a result, the NaiveNewcomer or the FishOutOfWater will often mistake it for an actual secret, as they don't know that most people already know.
to:
This trope is when a particular piece of information is officially declared to be secret... but it is widely known by everyone ''anyway''. The characters might as well not even attempt TheMasquerade, because all the civilians around them know who they are and what they are up to. And that super-secret bit of gossip that no one can ever know? Hate to tell you this, but ''everyone knows it already''. But at the core of the trope, is the fact that even though everyone is fully aware everyone else knows about the secret, it will still be treated like a secret; no one will ever openly admit to know it.it, and it is a common understanding that it should remain unspoken. Sometimes the occasional knowingly wink and nod will be shared, at most vague allusions or euphemisms might be used, but any and all open discussion and acknowledgement of the secret is completely out of the question. To do so will be viewed a mild faux pas at best, and an outright cardinal sin at worst. As a result, the NaiveNewcomer or the FishOutOfWater will often mistake it for an actual secret, as they don't know that most people already know.
30th Dec '15 3:22:19 PM TheAmazingBlachman
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This trope is when a particular piece of information is officially declared to be secret... but it is widely known by everyone ''anyway''. The characters might as well not even attempt TheMasquerade, because all the civilians around them know who they are and what they are up to. And that super-secret bit of gossip that no one can ever know? Hate to tell you this, but ''everyone knows it already''. Of course, the holders of the so-called secret continue to act as if no one outside of their little group knows anything at all, even though they are fully aware that pretty much everyone knows it already. The only people who treat the secret like a real secret are usually the NaiveNewcomer or the FishOutOfWater, who doesn't know that most people already know.
to:
This trope is when a particular piece of information is officially declared to be secret... but it is widely known by everyone ''anyway''. The characters might as well not even attempt TheMasquerade, because all the civilians around them know who they are and what they are up to. And that super-secret bit of gossip that no one can ever know? Hate to tell you this, but ''everyone knows it already''. Of course, But at the holders core of the so-called secret continue to act as if no one outside of their little group knows anything at all, trope, is the fact that even though they are everyone is fully aware that pretty much everyone else knows about the secret, it already. The only people who treat will still be treated like a secret; no one will ever openly admit to know it. Sometimes the occasional knowingly wink and nod will be shared, at most vague allusions or euphemisms might be used, but any and all open discussion and acknowledgement of the secret like is completely out of the question. As a real secret are usually result, the NaiveNewcomer or the FishOutOfWater, who doesn't FishOutOfWater will often mistake it for an actual secret, as they don't know that most people already know.
13th Dec '15 9:55:15 AM erforce
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* [[LampshadedTrope Lampshaded]] in the StarTrekDeepSpaceNine episode "Our Man Bashir". Garak is mystified by the lavish lifestyle afforded to the JamesBond expy in Julian's holonovel. Bashir states that he simply plays the role of the rich playboy Garak assumed he was. Garak laments that he joined the wrong intelligence service.
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* [[LampshadedTrope Lampshaded]] in the StarTrekDeepSpaceNine ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Our Man Bashir". Garak is mystified by the lavish lifestyle afforded to the JamesBond Film/JamesBond expy in Julian's holonovel. Bashir states that he simply plays the role of the rich playboy Garak assumed he was. Garak laments that he joined the wrong intelligence service.

* Film/JamesBond's status as a 00 Agent is supposed to be classified. Pretty much everyone on Earth with any sort of connection to a government, a terrorist organization, or an intelligence agency knows about him, though. Maybe because he always uses his real name and introduces himself as BondJamesBond to absolutely everyone he talks to.
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* Film/JamesBond's ''Film/JamesBond'' ** Bond's status as a 00 Agent is supposed to be classified. Pretty much everyone on Earth with any sort of connection to a government, a terrorist organization, or an intelligence agency knows about him, though. Maybe because he always uses his real name and introduces himself as BondJamesBond to absolutely everyone he talks to.
7th Dec '15 9:55:26 AM Hossmeister
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* Lampshaded by the title character of ''PhoenixWrightAceAttorney: Trials and Tribulations'' during the Kurain Village exhibit in regards to the Six Leaf Kurain Sacred Writings folding screen, "the greatest of all the spirit channeling secrets".
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* Lampshaded by the title character of ''PhoenixWrightAceAttorney: Trials and Tribulations'' ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyTrialsAndTribulations'' during the Kurain Village exhibit in regards to the Six Leaf Kurain Sacred Writings folding screen, "the greatest of all the spirit channeling secrets".
26th Nov '15 10:20:25 AM thatother1dude
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OvertOperative is a SubTrope. Related to NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught. Contrast to EverybodyKnewAlready, where the creators genuinely believe their "secret" is actually secret right up until TheReveal.
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OvertOperative is a SubTrope. Related to NotCheatingUnlessYouGetCaught. Contrast to Compare EverybodyKnewAlready, where the creators someone genuinely believe their "secret" is actually secret right up until TheReveal. they tell everyone.
21st Nov '15 1:45:45 PM randomtroper89
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* Comb-overs. It's amazing how many men honestly believe that they actually fool anyone.

* The military installation located on the southern shore of Groom Lake in Nevada, also known as Area 51, has gone through most of its life being barely acknowledged (if at all) by the government, even when it's open knowledge that many advanced aircraft had been developed and tested there over the decades, including the first American jet fighter, the P-59 Airacomet. The secrecy around the base has of course fueled [[WildMassGuessing much]] [[EpilepticTrees debate]] about just ''what'' goes on there.\\ \\ The base's existence was still considered a secret until it was ''sued'' over deaths from improper disposal of toxic waste, at which point [[ImplausibleDeniability the jig was basically up.]] Though that lawsuit was thrown out by executive order to prevent any details about Groom Lake appearing in court. Though this did lead to the CIA declassifying a number of documents relating to Area 51's history in 2013, meaning that the US Government has ''finally'' officially acknowledged that the base exists.
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* The military installation located on the southern shore of Groom Lake in Nevada, also known as Area 51, 51: ** It has gone through most of its life being barely acknowledged (if at all) by the government, even when it's open knowledge that many advanced aircraft had been developed and tested there over the decades, including the first American jet fighter, the P-59 Airacomet. The secrecy around the base has of course fueled [[WildMassGuessing much]] [[EpilepticTrees debate]] about just ''what'' goes on there.\\ \\ there. ** The base's existence was still considered a secret until it was ''sued'' over deaths from improper disposal of toxic waste, at which point [[ImplausibleDeniability the jig was basically up.]] Though that lawsuit was thrown out by executive order to prevent any details about Groom Lake appearing in court. Though this did lead to the CIA declassifying a number of documents relating to Area 51's history in 2013, meaning that the US Government has ''finally'' officially acknowledged that the base exists.exists. ** Area 51 in Nevada has always [[LampshadeHanging hung its own lampshade]]. It's on Google Earth, for crying out loud. [[RefugeInAudacity Official government policy]] before the mid-90s was to refuse to acknowledge in any way that the [[BlatantLies massive restricted area (with barb-wire fences and armed soldiers patrolling it)]] actually contained one damned thing. It was only revealed when the base was ''sued'' for causing [[NightmareFuel a horrifying and almost completely unknown disease]] in several workers by ''[[NoOSHACompliance burning toxic waste on site]]'' and refusing to give their doctors information about the unidentified substance even though it might have saved their lives. A story that almost disappeared behind claims of alien saucers. ** It is fairly well known at this point that Groom Lake is (or at least was) a testing ground for new aircraft. Stuff like the B-2, the SR-71, the F-117... * It's fairly well-known that Cheyenne Mountain is the command center of NORAD. This does not tell anybody [[Series/StargateSG1 just what goes on down there,]] and it deflects attention from more important and more secret sites elsewhere. Misdirection, donchaknow. And just to show that they're [[{{Troll}} trolling us]], a door in Cheyenne Mountain with multiple locks on it, labeled "Stargate Command." It leads to [[spoiler: a broom closet.]] This was especially funny to anybody who worked in fast food in the nearby town. For years practically every night Domino's Pizza, KFC, and a number of other fast food joints would send a driver up the mountain trail with a massive order that they would hand off at a guarded gate to guards that officially wasn't there to feed people that [[http://www.norad.mil/about/CMOC.html technically didn't exist]]. It does make people wonder if the people in NORAD just keep the charade going as a joke. * There is a real life government facility at Raven Rock, although it presumably doesn't yet have [[VideoGame/{{Fallout3}} an insane AI mainframe]]. As of yet, there has been no official denial. * The government installation at Mount Weather was SO Not-Secret that it's been handed over to FEMA.

* One of the amusing effects of an OpenSecret, such as that of the existence of Groom Lake, is that if information is classified, people covered by security laws or similar confidentiality rules, are not allowed to talk about it until it's specifically declassified, even if everyone else already knows about the information.
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* One of the amusing effects of an OpenSecret, effects, such as that of the existence of Groom Lake, is that if information is classified, people covered by security laws or similar confidentiality rules, are not allowed to talk about it until it's specifically declassified, even if everyone else already knows about the information.

* The location and address of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Tower BT Tower]] in London were for a long time an official secret, despite it being over six hundred feet high, holding the record for being the tallest building in the capital until 1980 and ''being open to the public and a moderately popular tourist attraction''. They even filmed a few episodes of ''Series/DoctorWho'' in it. This seems to have come about as a result of it having a not-insignificant national security role, being fitted with line-of-sight microwave transceivers that were to provide backup military comms in time of war; the paperwork for classifying it must have been filed by someone who neglected to look at the building specs, and it was well into the 1990s before anyone bothered to rectify this.
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* The location and address of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Tower org/wiki/File:BT_Tower-1.jpg BT Tower]] in London were for a long time an official secret, despite it being over six hundred feet high, holding Tower's]] existence was officially classified and omitted from the record for being the tallest government mapping agency's maps until 1993. This is a six-hundred foot office building in the capital until 1980 and ''being open to the public and a moderately popular tourist attraction''. They even filmed a few episodes of central London; it was built in 1964, appeared in ''Series/DoctorWho'' in it. This seems to have come about as 1966, and contains (among other things) viewing galleries, a result of souvenir shop, and a restaurant. One can only surmise that making it having a not-insignificant national security role, being fitted classified in the first place SeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime,[[note]]it's equipped with line-of-sight microwave transceivers that were to provide backup military carry emergency comms in time of war; traffic if the paperwork for classifying it must have been filed landlines are destroyed by someone who neglected to look at the building specs, act of war or natural disaster[[/note]] and it was well into the 1990s before anyone nobody bothered to rectify this.doing anything about it because declassifying something before its pre-arranged release date (anything between thirty years and a century) requires a small redwood forest's worth of paperwork.

* In 2014, we all learned the shocking truth about the NSA: they spy on people. Electronically! Lots of people had a suspicion or already knew that they were being spied by the NSA and other entities (from various nations in the world). The location and address part people ''didn't'' knew was the extent of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Tower BT Tower]] in London were for a long time an official secret, despite it being over six hundred feet high, holding the record for being the tallest building in the capital until 1980 various programs of surveillance and ''being open to the public and a moderately popular tourist attraction''. They even filmed a few episodes of ''Series/DoctorWho'' in it. This seems to have come about as a result of it having a not-insignificant national security role, being fitted with line-of-sight microwave transceivers that were to provide backup military comms in time of war; the paperwork for classifying it must have been filed by someone who neglected to look at the building specs, and it data storage, which was well into the 1990s before anyone bothered to rectify this.(and is) relatively massive.

* The location ** [[http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2251451/Sir-Ian-McKellen-Coming-gay-best-thing-I-did.html According to interviews]] when IanMcKellen came out to his stepmother, Gladys, he was worried she and address of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_Tower BT Tower]] in London were for a rest of his family (both his biological parents long time an official secret, despite it being over six hundred feet high, holding the record since deceased) would reject him. Not only did they not reject him his stepmother told him she had know for being the tallest building in the capital until 1980 years and ''being open to the public and a moderately popular tourist attraction''. They even filmed a few episodes of ''Series/DoctorWho'' in it. This seems to have come about as a result of it having a not-insignificant national security role, being fitted with line-of-sight microwave transceivers that were to provide backup military comms in time of war; the paperwork for classifying it must have been filed by someone who neglected to look at the building specs, and it was well into the 1990s before anyone bothered happy he wasn't lying to rectify this.himself anymore.

* A variation comes when police talk to the media about suicides, especially murder-suicides, but don't confirm that the incident was one. This becomes an OpenSecret when their official statement is something like "The death of the members of this family was clearly homicide. No we're not looking for anyone. No, no one else is at risk." * The ChurchOfHappyology has several of these, but the most notable is the OT-3 material (the notorious "Xenu story"). Ask any Happyologist, and they will claim never to have heard of the story in question. This is despite the fact that the Church has discussed it in court, their current leader, David Miscavige, alluded to it in an interview on Nightline, recordings exist on Youtube of LRonHubbard discussing it, countless books and television programs have discussed it without libel action being taken and literally every ex-Happyologist who reached OT-3 confirms it.
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* A variation comes when police talk to the media about suicides, especially murder-suicides, but don't confirm that the incident was one. This It becomes an OpenSecret this when their official statement is something like "The death of the members of this family was clearly homicide. No we're not looking for anyone. No, no one else is at risk." * The ChurchOfHappyology has several of these, but the most notable is the OT-3 material (the notorious "Xenu story").story"[[note]] It holds that a good deal of contemporary human suffering and unconscious human behavior is caused by the lingering spirits of humans murdered by Xenu, a malevolent galactic emperor who attacked Earth with hydrogen bombs in the distant past.[[/note]]). Ask any Happyologist, and they will claim never to have heard of the story in question. Officially, [[MysteryCult only long-time Church members can have it "revealed" to them]] after paying for a certain number of auditing sessions, and the Church's public relations department refrains from mentioning or acknowledging it in any statements to the general public about their doctrine and practices. This is despite the fact that the Church has discussed it in court, their current leader, David Miscavige, alluded to it in an interview on Nightline, recordings exist on Youtube of LRonHubbard discussing it, countless books and television programs have discussed it without libel action being taken and literally every ex-Happyologist who reached OT-3 confirms it.it. So much has already been leaked to the public and spread by word of mouth that it's now the ''only'' thing that many people know about the religion. * Likewise, Mormon temple garments, termed "magic underwear" by non-Mormon wags. They're meant to be hidden at all times and not discussed with non-Mormons (if they're visible at all, its supposed to be a sign that the wearer's clothing isn't modest enough), but the advent of the internet has blown the secret right out of the water. This is especially true now that there's a Church-produced video on YouTube explaining it. ** Subverted in the sense that, like some other aspects of the LDS faith, it's not really "secret", but members are reminded that they are "sacred". The difference being that "secret" implies that it's only meant for a small number of people to zealously guard from ever being known, which is not the case. Rather, members would like nothing more than for everyone to meet the requirements and learn more about them.

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* A variation comes when police talk to At one point the media about suicides, especially murder-suicides, but don't confirm that Italian government's way of keeping the incident was one. This becomes an OpenSecret when locations of their official statement is something like "The death military bases secret was to just black out the areas of the map they could be found on. While this did indeed keep the ''precise'' location of the bases secret, it certainly provided a good starting point for finding them. * Creator/IsaacAsimov once called the longbow England's "unsecret weapon": their rivals knew how to make them and how to train people to use them, but the training took a ''long'' time, and they didn't want to let commoners become that valuable when they could just teach them to use crossbows instead. * Most {{Juggalo}}s know who the members of this family was clearly homicide. No we're not looking for anyone. No, no one else is at risk." * The ChurchOfHappyology has several of these, but the most notable Music/PsychopathicRydas really are [[note]] "Bullet" and "Full Clip" are [[Music/InsaneClownPosse Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope]], "Li'l Shank" and "Foe Foe" are [[Music/{{Twiztid}} Jamie Madrox and Monoxide Child]], "Cell Block" is Music/BlazeYaDeadHomie, "Sawed Off" is Music/AnybodyKilla, and "Yung Dirt" is Music/{{Boondox}}[[/note]], even though the OT-3 material (the notorious "Xenu story"). Ask any Happyologist, members wear bandannas over their faces in all of their public appearances, and they will claim never to have heard refrain from publicly acknowledging their identities. Because most of the story in question. This is despite group's songs use beats lifted from other artists, the fact producers at Creator/PsychopathicRecords release their music under a separate label to avoid legal trouble, and they don't officially acknowledge that the Church has discussed it in court, their current leader, David Miscavige, alluded to it in an interview on Nightline, recordings exist on Youtube of LRonHubbard discussing it, countless books and television programs have discussed it without libel action being taken and literally every ex-Happyologist who reached OT-3 confirms it.Rydas are all popular Psychopathic artists.
3rd Nov '15 4:38:25 PM lorgskyegon
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Added DiffLines:
* [[LampshadedTrope Lampshaded]] in the StarTrekDeepSpaceNine episode "Our Man Bashir". Garak is mystified by the lavish lifestyle afforded to the JamesBond expy in Julian's holonovel. Bashir states that he simply plays the role of the rich playboy Garak assumed he was. Garak laments that he joined the wrong intelligence service.
18th Oct '15 7:22:32 PM Katsuhagi
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* When UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat of Russia ruled, it was a not-secret that she had a bastard son named Alexei by one of her lovers. Given that she treated him like a son and all but said it several times one could argue that she didn't even consider it a secret, but it wasn't until her son took the throne and acknowledged Alexei as his half-brother that it became official.
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* When UsefulNotes/CatherineTheGreat of Russia ruled, it was a not-secret that she had a bastard son named Alexei by one of her lovers. Given that she treated him like a son and all but said it several times one could argue that she didn't even consider it a secret, but it wasn't until after she died and her legitimate son took the throne and acknowledged Alexei as his half-brother that it became official.
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