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A.r.s Week in Review - 7/9/2000

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  • Rod Keller
    Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 13 7/9/2000 by Rod Keller [rkeller@voicenet.com] copyright 2000 Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 9 4:46 PM
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      Week in Review Volume 5, Issue 13
      by Rod Keller [rkeller@...]
      copyright 2000

      Alt.religion.scientology Week in Review summarizes the most significant
      postings from the Usenet group Alt.religion.scientology for the preceding
      week for the benefit of those who can't follow the group as closely as
      they'd like. Out of thousands of postings, I attempt to include news of
      significant events, new affidavits, court rulings, new contributors,
      whatever. I hope you find it useful. Like many readers of a.r.s, I have a
      kill file. So please take into consideration that I may not have seen some
      of the most significant postings.

      The articles in A.r.s Week in Review are brief summaries of articles
      posted to the newsgroup. They include message IDs for the original
      articles, and many have a URL to get more information. You may be able to
      find the original article, depending on how long your site stores articles
      in the newsgroup before expiring them.

      Free A.r.s Week in Review subscriptions are available.
      Subscriptions are also available on ONElist. Email
      weekinreview-subscribe@onelist.com or see http://www.onelist.com
      Week in Review is archived at:


      > Clearwater

      The Clearwater Gazette & Beach News published an article on July 6th on
      the upcoming vote on downtown development.

      "Recently, and because of reported statements that the final development
      agreement might allow the Church of Scientology to somehow acquire certain
      'rights' from the master developer, developer George de Guardiola has
      reportedly agreed to allow agreement language in the final contract to
      prohibit such transfer of 'rights' to the downtown Clearwater Church

      "Will the developer's recent statement help to support the vote on July
      11th? 'I think so,' stated a downtown supporter. 'This might help clear
      the air about some people saying the developer could sell the deal to the
      Church of Scientology. That is simply not true.'"

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      > Tom Cruise

      Cinema magazine published an interview with Scientology celebrity Tom
      Cruise on July 1st.

      "Q. It could be read recently in the U.S. press that you wanted to leave
      the Scientology Church. Can you comment on that?

      "Look, people make mistakes. If you read the counter-presentations in
      certain magazines, you'll see what I mean.

      "Q. What advantages do you see in your membership in Scientology which is
      controversial in the media?

      "I know that sometimes the media plays havoc, especially outside the USA.
      No belief is free from the hate of intolerant people who, luckily, only
      make up a minority of people. Actually, my religion has already helped me
      much - in private life and in work. Nevertheless, I hope that people judge
      me based on my films, regardless of which church I belong to."

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000705164504.127A-100000@...>


      > Denmark

      Mike Gormez reported on a documentary shown on Danish television this

      "Bid and Jesse both spoke of their experiences. i.e. Jesse told of the
      babies who never get out of bed and Bid (Birgitta Dagnell) told that she
      would have liked it - in retrospect - if she could have given her daughter
      a different non-Scn upbringing. The program had some shots of 'Happy
      Valley' (with the pole) though it didn't tell the story of it, further we
      saw the sickening sec checking of a kid.

      "Star of the show was however Tanya Neujahr. She was the 17-year old SO
      girl who escaped from St. Hill with help of the police and Caberta. Her
      English is very good, and she told that her father regards her as dead
      because she quit the SO."

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      > Flag

      Virginia McClaughry reported news from Clearwater, where members are being
      given unusual instructions.

      "The church is calling up Scientologists and ORDERING them to install the
      net nanny on their computer. The shore story is 'to prevent them from
      being exposed to upper level materials'. This is not going over well with
      the public at large, and they are not as stupid as the Church hopes. Terms
      like 'nazi germany' and others are being bandied about."

      "Flag is recalling all their L's public, and making them repay for the
      L's, as well as doing an 'eligibility' program. One public, came in, paid
      for the L's and Eligibility (after being recalled), started the
      eligibility program, and was declared an illegal pc."

      "The public who was declared an illegal pc was also kicked off the base!"

      The flag public courserooms are quite empty, with the supervisors quite
      desperate to get students in, but the public isn't cooperating. Sandcastle
      has posted a full time Medical Officer, which is old news, but people here
      might not know that it is now REQUIRED that all public give an extremely
      invasive, detailed, family medical history, as one of the first steps on
      the routing form."

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      > France

      Basler Zeitung reported on June 24th on the new French law against mental
      manipulation by cults.

      "'Mental manipulation' of sect victims will be added as a misdemeanor in
      the criminal code. The National Assembly has long been involved with the
      fight against sects which do business with gullible innocents under the
      cloak of religious freedom, which infiltrate institutions and, especially,
      influence weak citizens with occasionally morbid ideas. The delegates have
      already produced a list of sects which would have to be categorized as a
      threat to society.

      "Since 1996 the justice department has initiated 280 court proceedings,
      most of them based on complaints by former sect members, a hundred of them
      were dropped without a trial, convictions resulted in only 48 cases -
      mostly for deception, fraud or illegal practice of medicine. The
      government also has the opinion that, in view of the often very tightly
      organized and well-financed sects, preventive information alone is not
      sufficient. But their legislative proposal has now been strengthened so
      much by the representatives in many respects, that the proposal has little
      chance of getting the vote even in the conservative Senate.

      "The government would like to get the opinion of the consultative Human
      Rights Commission in the debate before the Senate. The law also says that
      organizations revealed to be sects will not be permitted to open branches
      in the direct vicinity of schools, retirement homes and hospitals. A
      spokeswoman for the Scientologists, who see themselves, probably not
      completely by accident, as being targeted by the anti-sect law, stated,
      'If this law is passed, then democracy in France is over.'"

      Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.96.1000705164812.127E-100000@...>


      > Freezone

      Scientology was unsuccessful in obtaining the Internet domain
      scientologie.org this week.

      "The application of the RTC lawyers to transfer the domain
      'scientologie.org' to the RTC was rejected by the World Intellectual
      Property Organization. In 1995 the Free Zone Assoc. purchased the rights
      to the book of the german philosopher Dr. A. Nordenholz, Scientologie -
      Wissenschaft von der Beschaffenheit und Tauglichkeit des Wissens
      (Scientology, Science of the Constitution and Usefulness of Knowledge). In
      December 1995 the domain name 'scientologie.org' was registered. It was
      online until middle of 1996 when the RTC objected against our use of it.
      The Network Information Centerthen put the domain on status hold.

      "On 5th of Mai 2000 the RTC Lawyers filed a complaint at WIPO and
      'requests that the Administrative Panel appointed in this administrative
      proceeding issue a decision that the domain name 'scientologie.org' be
      transferred to RTC.' On the 3rd of July the complaint was denied."

      Message-ID: <39620F70.8DD66B40@...>


      > Gold Base

      The Riverside County sheriff has determined that the death of Stacey Myer
      at Scientology's Gold Base was accidental.

      "Stacey Myer, 20, died June 25 when she slipped as she climbed into the
      vault at the Church of Scientology complex near San Jacinto. 'She was
      someplace she should not have been,' said Lt. Darryl Birney. 'We have
      investigated this thoroughly, looked at the evidence, and concluded that
      it was an accident.' Birney said it appears Myer slipped or lost her
      balance and fell from a ladder leading into the vault, then grabbed a wire
      as she fell. Myer died instantly when she touched a 7,200-volt wire
      connecting two transformers in the 10-foot-by-10-foot vault, authorities

      "Ken Hoden, manager of Golden Era Studios, had previously speculated that
      Myer may have gone into the vault to find out why a squirrel had died
      inside weeks before. Investigators received numerous calls, mostly from
      critics of Scientology, who suggested Myer's death was not an accident,
      Birney said."

      Message-ID: <8k4iso$4ea@...>


      > Lisa McPherson

      The autopsy photos of Lisa McPherson continue to be sealed due to legal
      appeals by Scientology. From the St. Petersburg Times on July 6th:

      "A Pinellas judge ruled Wednesday that autopsy photos of Scientologist
      Lisa McPherson should be made public, but the photos remained under seal
      after the Church of Scientology quickly asked for a delay. The church has
      argued that releasing the autopsy photos could prevent a fair trial in
      Hillsborough County, where it is fighting a wrongful-death lawsuit filed
      by McPherson's estate. The church says it fears the photos will be
      published by newspapers and by its critics on the Internet, thus inflaming
      potential jurors.

      "Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Crockett Farnell wrote that the church 'has
      not shown the likelihood of irreparable harm' if the photos are released.
      'Even if the photographs are published extensively,' he added, 'that does
      not mean that the Hillsborough County court cannot seat an unbiased jury.'
      Courts are equipped to handle such matters, he wrote."

      From the St. Petersburg Times on July 7th:

      "The Church of Scientology has again blocked the release of autopsy photos
      of Scientologist Lisa McPherson. In a motion filed Thursday, the church
      asked Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Crockett Farnell to reconsider two
      previous rulings this week in which he cleared the photos for public
      release. The motion prompted the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office to delay
      the release for the second time this week. It was the third time
      Scientology has successfully kept the records secret since June 12, when
      prosecutors dropped two criminal charges against the church in McPherson's

      "The church says Farnell has not heard enough evidence to make a decision
      and suggested an 'alternative remedy' such as allowing the public to view
      the photos without reproducing them for general distribution."

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      > Nigeria

      The Nigerian senate this week said that a debt buy-back program in which
      Scientology critic Bob Minton participated was a good deal for Nigeria.
      From Nigeria Today on July 3rd:

      "A committee of Nigeria's upper legislative chamber has backed the
      strategy of debt buy back schemes in reducing the country's huge external
      debt. The committee stated that the debt buy back scheme undertaken
      between 1988 and 1993 was beneficial to Nigeria because the country was
      able to reduce its debt by $5 billion. London based former footballer,
      John Fashanu alleged financial impropriety in the 1988-93 scheme. His
      accusing fingers were pointed at retired American investment banker Bob
      Minton, whose firm handled the 1988-93 scheme. Responding to Fashanu's
      allegations at a public forum which the United Kingdom resident, failed to
      attend, Minton said Fashanu was being used by the Scientology organisation
      in the United States with which he had a three-year battle over the
      group's alleged human rights violations and murder of certain persons
      which he was trying to expose.

      "'If people had plundered Nigeria, they should be brought to book, but
      such a campaign would lose its focus if the main motivation is vendetta.
      The Fashanu Report was a document conceived out of vendetta. As far as I
      am concerned Fashanu is being economical with the truth. He should focus
      on those who stole Nigeria's money and not people like me who are being
      maligned for a completely different reason' Minton told a public forum in
      Howard University, Washington D.C. last month. Privately, Fashanu has
      denied allegations that he had offered to sell his unsubstantiated
      findings to the federal government to the tune of 500 million naira. He
      has also failed to refute the allegations in public."

      From The Guardian on July 2nd:

      "About five billion dollars may have been slashed off Nigeria's debt by a
      1988 debt buy-back deal going by the findings of the Senate Committee on
      Local and Foreign Debts which investigated such past transactions. The
      committee which was until recently led by Senator Idris Abubakar concluded
      in its yet to be debated report that contrary to speculations, the debt
      buy back deal believed to have been fraudulently executed was somewhat
      beneficial to the country.

      "The committee's findings which runs against the recent campaign of
      looting by former football star, John Fashanu, draws largely from
      submissions of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria and
      other principal witnesses to conclude that one 'Greenland Company', role
      in the business was transparent.

      "While Fashanu insists that his discovery was borne out of patriotism, one
      of those linked with the transaction, Mr. Bob Minton has accused him
      (Fashanu) of working for the Scientologists, a controversial United States
      group, in the bid to run him down. Minton stressed that he has
      consistently taken on the group's disputed objectives to the level where
      they would work on any thing to either distract him or discredit his

      The former leader of Nigeria also criticized Fashanu. From Nigeria Today
      on July 4th:

      "Nigeria's former dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida says John Fashanu's
      allegations against him are nothing but 'fairy tales.' Babangida dismissed
      claims made by former footballer, Fashanu, who accused a retired American
      investment banker, Bob Minton, of helping the dictator to siphon public
      funds. He said he was surprised that Fashanu missed the opportunity
      provided by public forum organised by Professor Bolaji Aluko's Nigerian
      Democratic Movement in the United States to prove his case."

      From Nigeriaworld on July 4th:

      "'The revelations surprised me. I am surprised, because I didn't know,'
      Babangida told a group of Newswatch editors in an interview published in
      the current edition of the newsmagazine. Babangida chided John Fashanu,
      the Nigerian-London based footballer who accused the American, Bob Minton,
      of helping Babangida to siphon public funds, for missing the opportunity
      provided by a conference organised by Nigerians in the United States to
      prove his case."

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      > Protest Summary

      Keith Henson continued his near-daily protests at Gold Base near hemet,

      "I did another picket for an hour or so this morning ending at ten or ten
      thirty. I had walked less than 100 yds from my car which was parked
      beyond the east overpass when I looked back to wave at traffic and saw two
      guys walking toward me. Eliot Richardson, the guy who choked me in LA two
      years ago, and another heavy set dude who really didn't want his photo
      taken. They threatened me, got in my face and started bull baiting me
      (child molester etc.) What they were after was to bash themselves on my
      sign or get me to bash them and fall down like Howd. I wasn't having any
      of it, so I jumped into the roadway. They spent the next ten minutes
      trying to bull bait as they chased me back and forth in the roadway while
      I flagged down about 20 cars and asked them to call the cops. Every time I
      would talk to someone in a car, they would quit bothering me so they could
      tell the driver I was a mad bomber or child molester or both.

      "Officer Labaron was the first to respond. They gave the officer a shore
      story about trying to 'interview' me (spitting in my face from 6 inches!).
      He informed them that it was not safe to distract someone who was walking
      along the side of a busy highway and that they should figure out a better
      place to do interviews. The Sheriff officer showed up later and got
      flyers. We talked about Stacey Myer, chain lockers, shore stories, and
      what to put in a search engine."

      "I was not early enough to follow the buses back to the two clam
      apartments, but all four went by my picket signs within a ten minute
      period close to 7 am. I followed one of them over to the apartments on
      Kirby and found one at the Fruitvale Apartment as well. The first one
      tried to shake me off, and stopped for a while at a gas station to call.
      The Fruitvale apartments have a security guy playing hide and seek in the
      bushes with a radio."

      "On the way out, I saw a Highway Patrol officer with a stopped car. So I
      turned around, stopped, parked and talked to Officer Mushaney. The
      officers who looked at the tape concluded I was trying to get away from
      Edwin Richardson and the other thug. Parked at the west end next to where
      Ashlee was killed, got out my sign and started walking to the east. Sure
      enough, here comes Edwin and thug 2. So I got on 911 and reported as they
      were walking down the road to me. Edwin took a bad step in some wet sand
      on the south side of the road and went down hard.

      "Thug 2 crossed over behind me and Edwin got in front. He stopped, forcing
      me to either go in to the street or further onto scn property, while thug
      2 was talking into a radio or cell phone about how I had stepped on
      precious scn property. But with it obvious I was talking to 911, they kept
      back about 6 feet. Ken Hoden came by and warned me to stay off private
      property, but he knows that I have the right to walk on their property if
      required for safety. Incidentally, except for the west underpass, they
      seem to have given up trying to keep gold base staff inside."

      "After playing a little with the buses, I got out there about 7 am, parked
      on the west end next to where Ashlee was killed. Thug 2 and the older guy
      came trudging down from the main gate. Thug 2 came up close and started
      right in bull baiting. I called 911, and he split back to the guard house,
      and Edwin took his place. After Thug 2 went into hiding, I canceled the
      911 call."

      "Barb" and David Rice also protested Gold Base this week.

      "I hopped out of the car and approached Keith while David parked. Both of
      Keith's escorts promptly left to get orders. They were soon back, trudging
      along heavily behind us with camcorders. We picked up a couple of picket
      signs from Keith and started the day's work. On our first pass, Keith
      pointed out several rather large pine trees in wooden pots that have been
      placed over the underground tunnel. There isn't enough soil there to plant
      them, due to the tunnel, so they've wrapped the bases with plastic
      sheeting. Those trees are heavy! I hope the tunnel is reinforced to
      support this weight after watering.

      "At one point, we separated from Keith by about 100 yards. Our handlers
      muttered to each other, and also separated; Keith got one, and we got the
      other. He was a man in his 60s, heavy set, silver hair, wearing no hat in
      the hot sun. He carried a water bottle and would seek out shade when we
      stopped. His face was very red, and he did not seem to be doing too well
      in the heat."

      "Arrived at 'Gold Base' at 10:28 AM and saw Keith out there. Keith was in
      the middle of two goons: sort of like a Nabisco Entheta Cookie. Trudge;
      trudge; trudge down the road we travailed, walking West on the Eastbound
      side of the road. If the crime syndicate did not send their goons out to
      harass him, I suspect that a great many motorists would not even notice he
      is out there. One person with a sign is less attractive than FIVE
      PICKETERS outside protesting the crime syndicate's abuses.

      "Trudge; trudge; trudge our travail continued until 12:48PM upon whence we
      met up with Keith and we demanded a break. The heat was getting to me,
      and pictures of iced tea danced before my eyes. We split up and headed for
      our cars. Our shadow dogged us to the last centimeter. We drove to Ida's
      house for lunch. The crime syndicate had Ida's son and grandson send two
      e-mails to her. The intent of the e-mail was to convince her to eject
      Keith from her abode. The propaganda called Keith a 'full-time hater.'"

      "Act" protested at the Adelaide, Australia org this week.

      "Picketers: my friend Darren and myself; Banner: '$cientology Despises
      Free Speech'; The Scientologists were very on-edge at the Adelaide Org.
      Darren and I could barely approach the Org without some Sea Org member
      emerging, patrolling around the street and going back inside the Org.
      Soon enough a handler snuck up behind us, remarked 'that's not a very
      professional sign. You're breaking the law. I'm going to call the
      Council.' We crossed the street and began filming the Church.

      "They made good on their promise to contact the Adelaide City Council. A
      council officer soon appeared to move me and my friend on, even though we
      had police permission to be there, and we weren't blocking the pavement or
      behaving offensively. Needless to say, I'm exchanging words with the
      Council over the legality of the Council's by-law requiring people to pay
      for a permit in order to hold protests or gatherings."

      Hartley Patterson and Dave Bird protested the Birmingham, England org this

      "Jens, Dave Bird and myself were joined by four local SPs for a peaceful
      picket. I chatted briefly to one handler who promised to send me proof of
      the Church of Scientology's 8 million members and continuing expansion. It
      was evidently a good day for canvassing, besides the body routers there
      was Oxfam, Animal Rights and several others."

      "Roland's new leaflet has sides three and four on how to get money back
      and get family out, with contact details for 'Escape', 'Catalyst', and
      'Leaving Scientology'. I had a considerable amount of old & new style
      leaflets. We set up with placards and leaflets around the top of Ethel
      Street; no amplification, but my voice carried pretty well in a no-traffic

      "We kept it basic down to 'scam operating in this area, don't be fooled by
      the personality test clipboarders, it's a scam to extract money'. Our
      leaflets were well received, and quite a few people stopped for a chat.
      Over time the phones must have been ringing to summon various other
      body-routers into the Org, as by the time we finished at 1600 the number
      had just increased to four with their own counter-leaflets."

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      > South Africa:

      The Metro Sunday Times reported on July 2nd that Scientology is trying to
      buy a school in Johannesburg, South Africa.

      "The land belonging to Woodmead High School -- one of Johannesburg's most
      famous and progressive schools -- is at the centre of a fight with the
      Church of Scientology. Bob Glenister, co-director of Woodmead Holdings,
      which owns the land on which the now closed Woodmead High School stood, is
      locked in a legal battle to prevent the Church of Scientology from buying
      the northern Johannesburg property for R3.4-million because he believes
      the controversial group is 'morally abhorrent'.

      "'It's just not acceptable to sell the land to these people. In my opinion
      they're evil and take advantage of people who are in need of spiritual or
      psychological help. We believe that every individual has the right to have
      his opinion heard and a right to practice what he believes in. The
      Woodmead school always stood for ideas and freedom of expression. But the
      Scientologists are into mind control. They morally blackmail the people to
      stay in the institution.'

      "In court papers, the bank says it prefers to sell the property to the
      Church of Scientology. But Glenister claims there have been other offers -
      including one of R4.4 million - which he should be able to accept. 'If we
      can get more money from elsewhere why on earth should we be forced to
      accept this offer by the Scientologists?' he said."

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      > Switzerland

      Neue Zuercher Zeitung reported on July 1st that a law used to prohibit the
      distribution of personality tests in Zurich has been ruled

      "The prohibition established in 1972 by the Zurich city council against
      distribution of advertising material on public land has rightly been
      declared unconstitutional by the Cantonal Constitutional Court. The city
      administrative police had prohibited Scientology Church Zurich from
      distributing the 'Oxford Capacity Analysis' personality test and the 'Why
      Happiness is no accident' leaflet on city streets. The prohibition was
      supported by the police board, the city council, the governor's office and
      the executive offices. The Administrative Court, however, partially
      acceded to Scientology's complaint, saying that a complete ban on
      distributing advertising material on city land was not permissible, in
      light of freedom of trade and commerce. It noted that all of the legal
      hearings involved in the case refused to review the problem in the light
      of freedom of religion, because the distribution of the above-mentioned
      documents is not rated as religious, but as commercial activity."

      Tages-Anzeiger reported on June 30th that a former Scientologist is suing
      Scientology for a refund.

      "For 16 years of his life, A. Meier (name changed) belonged to the
      Scientology organization. He paid 100,000 franks for courses and books.
      Last Fall the information technician decided to leave. He says he pre-paid
      for courses which he did not take. Because that money was not refunded to
      him, Meier filed charges against Scientology in court. The unusual case in
      which a former Scientologist risked demanding money from Scientology in
      court started yesterday in Zurich.

      "At first Scientology said that it had improperly given him a rebate, on
      which account Meier could not be paid back. When Meier did not give in,
      Scientology told him his was expelled until further notice. Finally Meier
      left the organization. He is suing for his money back. According to
      Meier's attorney, the 'character of the payments' was not changed in that
      part of the pre-payments were described in the documents as donations. He
      said it quite clearly was a contract relationship.

      "Scientology's legal representative, herself a member of Scientology,
      demanded that Meier's complaint be dismissed, in addition she said there
      were outstanding debts in the amount of between 13,000 and 17,000 franks.
      Instead of saying what it was for, she pulled out a lecture about
      Scientology. The judge finally interrupted her - presumably not just for
      reasons of time - and asked the question of whether the parties would not
      like to try to settle out of court. They agreed to try. They were
      dismissed by the judge with 'We will be waiting expectantly.'"

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      > Exhibition Schedule

      A schedule of What is Scientology exhibits was posted to a.r.s this week.

      "Admission Free.
      London 3 - 6 July The Selfridge Hotel, off Oxford Street
      London 7 - 9 July Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, W1
      London 10 - 12 July The Selfridge Hotel, off Oxford Street
      Manchester 18 - 23 July Thistle Hotel, Piccadilly Gardens
      Bournemouth 27 - 29 July The Pavillion, Westover Road
      Birmingham 1 - 4 August Burlington Hotel, New Street
      Edinburgh 14 - 18 August Crowne Plaza, Royal Mile
      Brighton 22 - 27 August Thistle Hotel, Kings Road
      Plymouth 30 August - 3 Sep Guildhall, City Centre (off Royal Parade)
      Newcastle 7 - 9 September Posthouse, New Bridge Street
      Open Daily 10:00am - 9:00pm
      Call 0800 23 2000 for further information"

      Message-ID: <m166qidoco.fsf@...>

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