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Old 6th May 2012, 02:05 AM   #1
Aggelos
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Self-proclaimed scientist and messiah!

Hi. Nice to be with you for the first time.

I'd like to bring to your knowledge the case of a Greek charlatan called George Paschalidis, who claims to have had a divine revelation in 2002. Since then he has gathered around himself a group of deluded people, among whom are some famous Greek actors and singers, who see him as a kind of new messiah. Some friends of mine fell for him too and our friendship has almost been destroyed because of him. This guy also performs healings over the phone and through the Internet, claiming to be able to make diagnoses by just looking at a person or by waving an L-shaped metal rod (much like a divination rod) when on an Internet session. He speaks about love and how it can heal everything, and has written a few books about it and about his other convictions(?). He received the international "Giuseppe Siacca" (a Vatican organization) award for 2010 and was recently also honored with an award by the Greek UNESCO Club of Art, Discource and Science!

G. Paschalides claims to have discovered "the three human skeletal types", which he peddles as a scientific discovery of great importance. Among his other outlandish claims is that fish and frogs that are sometimes rained down from the sky are an instant result of lightning combined with fixed atmospheric pressures and temperatures, and also that humanity has repeatedly fallen back to almost animal levels each time great global climate changes occured!

One of the friends I mentioned above told me that he believed in him when he diagnosed his daughter as having polycystic ovaries by just looking at her. What is one supposed to answer to that? Is there any effective way we could react?

This charlatan is now (May 6, 2012) in the US, in Los Angeles, and will be in Chicago from May 10 to May 13, making himself available to the public.

Do you think you could check him out* and help debunk him?

*Unfortunately, I get a message from the system that I'm not allowed to give any websites before I've posted at least 15 times. So, I'm afraid you'll have to google "George Pashalidis" or "George Paschalidis" to find his website. If you come across a site name that contains "georgepashalidis", then you've got it. Add "en" after the final slash (if it's not already there) to get the English version.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 6th May 2012, 02:17 AM   #2
Yuri Nalyssus
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Originally Posted by Aggelos View Post
Hi. Nice to be with you for the first time.
Welcome to the forum Aggelos

Originally Posted by Aggelos View Post
*Unfortunately, I get a message from the system that I'm not allowed to give any websites before I've posted at least 15 times.
http://georgepashalidis.com/en/ - there you go!

At first glance this seems to follow the 'usual pattern':

Quote:
He is widely acclaimed for his contribution to humanity and science, particularly for his revolutionary discovery of the three human types and the dominant gene, which explains the true nature of the human body, reveals the causes of disease, and describes the path to health and harmony
Oh... and please buy all my stuff.

Funny, I don't remember any mention of Jesus signing any merchandising deals in the new testament

Yuri
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Old 6th May 2012, 02:28 AM   #3
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You could try asking your friends in which peer reviewed science journal his "discovery of great scientific importance" was published, but I'm afraid there's not much hope of having a sensible discussion with people who have emotionally invested in this kind of woo to the extent they seem to have done.

You could also suggest they get him to apply for the JREF MDC, of course, pointing out how much good he could do with the money, and what good publicity it would be.
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:01 AM   #4
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I have some resources that may be of some assistance.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/docs...g_Handbook.pdf

Quote:
http://www.freedomofmind.com
http://www.freedomofmind.com/Info/faq/sia.php
http://freedomofmind.com/Info/faq.php

9. What should I do if I suspect a family member or friend is getting involved with a destructive cult?

My best advice is to get help before you do or say anything. Continue to act naturally. Learn before you act. Think before you speak. Adopt a “curious, yet concerned” attitude with the person you suspect is in trouble.

Don’t get hysterical in front of the individual. Don’t attack or confront. Don’t ask him or her if they are in a cult.

Position yourself as a possible “recruit” and try to elicit as much information as possible. Ask questions in a friendly manner and insist on getting specific answers. Don’t settle for global generalizations or evasions... (continued)
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:47 AM   #5
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I couldn't find much more about him than others have posted. Google scholar didn't bring up much either apart from this Ethnic and Racial Studies

Volume 29, Issue 1, 2006


He really does have a thing for the number three though and his site is much more crazy appearing than the abstract on google scholar.

I guess I'll have to buy his books to open my mind so I can find out what's really going on
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Old 7th May 2012, 05:34 AM   #6
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I wish to thank the people who welcomed me to the forum and/or helped overcome some technical problems. Special thanks go to those who checked out G. Paschalidis and/or made suggestions on how his (and his followers') assertions could be countered.

Regarding whether I, as the OP, may have been offended by some comments variously interpreted either as humorous or as possibly offensive, I'd rather remain silent at the present stage, since expressing a position entails the risk of leaving displeased one party or the other.

It would be of much greater importance to me if, hopefully, some more relevant information and/or suggestions could find their way to this thread. Much more so since I just found out that a certain MD, presented on Paschalidis' site as the director of the largest anti-cancer hospital in Greece (though I checked, I couldn't verify the information, but he vaguely appears to somehow be related to the hospital), has expressed his unreserved approval of this charlatan's claims! If true, I find it very disquieting that medical scientists of such status can allow their names to be linked with those of charlatans.
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Old 7th May 2012, 05:49 AM   #7
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Credit where it's due, it's clear from his website that he is very creative when it comes to deciding on taxonomical terminology:

"He used his clairvoyance constructively for humanity as a whole and he discerned three distinct Types that have skeletal and biological distinctions- every human belongs to one of these Types .... He named these Types A, B and C."
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Old 7th May 2012, 05:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
I have some resources that may be of some assistance.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/docs...g_Handbook.pdf


Also the book Combatting Cult Mind Control is supposed to be very good.

As for this Pashalidis character, he seems like another garden-variety charismatic crank.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:33 AM   #9
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I looked at Paschadalis' website; it's big on awards but very light on actual information.

Briefly, he splits the population into 3 types, based primarily on their skeleton. There are line drawings of the three types on http://georgepashalidis.com/en/?p=95 this page, where the defining characteristic appears to be how they arrange their limbs when seated. The page also says that
Quote:
A type A person, a cerebral person, gets infuriated about today, a type B person, which is an emotional person, stresses about tomorrow , a type C person functions lymphically, hurts about yesterday and all three types end up losing today
and then goes on to talk of the importance of the hypophisis (pituitary gland) and states that it "accepts cosmic energy"

On another page, he claims that type A people:
Quote:
The Type A person has a main element missing, the lack of which makes the absorption of Manganese (Mn) from the human organism difficult. This results in the creation of confusion in the brain which “gets stuck” and provides false orders for the management of iron (I) in the human organism. For this reason one can observe fluctuations of iron in the blood.
I don't know why he's called iron I, when the symbol for iron is Fe and I is the symbol for iodine.

Type B people, on the other hand:
Quote:
In type B people there is a main element which is missing, the absence of which makes it difficult for the assimilation of Magnesium (Mg) from their organism. Hence, the brain is in confusion and cannot provide information for correct management of magnesium, resulting in the fluctuation of the levels of this element in the blood. Because of the mismanagement, a type B person, instead of assimilating vitamin D, they accumulate it in the large intestine, which, as a result, loses its elasticity and creates varicose veins (spastic colon).
Type C people:
Quote:
In type C people there is a main element which is missing, the absence of which makes it difficult for the assimilation of Copper (Cu) from their organism. Hence, the brain of a type C person is in confusion and cannot provide information for correct absoption of Vitamin C, resulting in its assimilation in the arteries.
I am not a doctor but on the face of it this sounds like woo central. Perhaps this should be put into the Science Maths Medicine & Technology forum to let knowledgeable people look at these claims.

Another page talks about Kirlian photographyWP, Energy Emission Analysis, something he describes as segmental analysis and Infrared photography as a diagnostic tool.

I can't yet find the word "quantum", the hallmark of woo, but I am sure it is there somewhere. The pages titled medical journals, scientific journals and studies contain nothing of the sort.

In short, he's made some strange claims, including some waffle about cancer being the physical manifestation of bad thoughts. The reported speech by the oncologist to which you refer appears to imply approval of his theories by Professor Sir Michael Richards, UK's cancer Czar, so I've fired off an email to the Department of Health asking whether Sir Michael is aware of this. I'll let you know if and when I receive a reply.
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Last edited by Agatha; 7th May 2012 at 06:40 AM. Reason: speeling
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Yuri Nalyssus View Post
Funny, I don't remember any mention of Jesus signing any merchandising deals in the new testament
His autobiography sold quite well.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Aggelos View Post
Since then he has gathered around himself a group of deluded people, among whom are some famous Greek actors and singers, who see him as a kind of new messiah.

This is just crying out for a Monty Python reference, but I'll restrain myself.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:47 AM   #12
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A search for Paschadalis at Quackwatch currently gets no hits, but he looks like the kind of charlatan that would be of interest to them.

The OP might like to report him to that site. The page to do so is here:

http://www.quackwatch.org/02Consumer...audreport.html
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:51 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Agatha View Post
I can't yet find the word "quantum", the hallmark of woo, but I am sure it is there somewhere. The pages titled medical journals, scientific journals and studies contain nothing of the sort.

In short, he's made some strange claims, including some waffle about cancer being the physical manifestation of bad thoughts. The reported speech by the oncologist to which you refer appears to imply approval of his theories by Professor Sir Michael Richards, UK's cancer Czar, so I've fired off an email to the Department of Health asking whether Sir Michael is aware of this. I'll let you know if and when I receive a reply.
In my entire life, I've never met a "woo" believer who understands what that word means. It's thrown around like an excuse for every kind of BS. It's as though they never took even an introductory secondary level science class.
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Old 7th May 2012, 09:38 AM   #14
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is this the same guy as Georgios Paschalidis who was minister for Thrace Macedonia 2000- 2003
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministe...hrace_(Greece)
he was also Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Costas Simitis

Last edited by Marduk; 7th May 2012 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:21 PM   #15
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Many thanks to everyone for all your help. I'll certainly report this guy to Quackwatch and also let the people on the Science, Maths, Medicine & Technology forum know about him.

One other thing I'd like to find out about G. Paschalidis is who are the people behind him and how and why they're supporting him. I say this because I know that Paschalidis never made it beyond primary school(!), so I can't believe he writes his books or speaks about quasi-scientific matters without any significant help from others who should at least have some basic scientific background. I know (from some videos I've watched) that he has people around him whom he frequently asks about things he doesn't remember (or know?) and that his command of the Greek language is not so good. And I also believe that he copies others' ideas, which he then presents as his own. Should any of you come across any information regarding copying from other sources or about who might be behind him, please let me know.

P.S.: Former Greek minister George Paschalidis and the charlatan by the same name are not the same person.

Last edited by Aggelos; 7th May 2012 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 7th May 2012, 04:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Aggelos View Post
One of the friends I mentioned above told me that he believed in him when he diagnosed his daughter as having polycystic ovaries by just looking at her. What is one supposed to answer to that? Is there any effective way we could react?
Polycystic Ovarian Disorder/Syndrome (PCOS) has several physical characteristics that make diagnosis quite simple just based on appearance... it is also very common. Some physical symptoms are:

Excessive facial and body hair
Hyperpigmentation (darkened patches of skin particularly around the neck, on the face, under the arms, and other places that rub)
Acne/oily skin
Excessive weight, particularly around the midsection
Skin tags

I suffer from PCOS and can tell with pretty good accuracy when I see someone, and with even better accuracy by briefly talking to them whether they have it too, or could potentially have it. So, in regard to what you would say to your friend, just tell him that you can tell if someone has pcos by physical symptoms, and it is a fairly common disorder. No woo neccessary.
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Old 7th May 2012, 11:41 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by sbm View Post
Polycystic Ovarian Disorder/Syndrome (PCOS) has several physical characteristics that make diagnosis quite simple just based on appearance... it is also very common...
Also people who claim such psychic powers are not averse to straight forward trickery. The technique of 'hot reading' just involves getting hard information on a subject in advance of the reading then revealing it at the show as 'new' information. Techniques vary from simply overhearing people in the lobby before coming into the show ("I wonder if he'll be able to work out that Susie has got PCOS?") to googling people who are on the ticket lists to simply phoning people up in advance or sending a list of questions by post, asking them stuff about their circumstances then repeating them back to them at the show - even when people have has such a questionnairre where they have given the information they are STILL amazed at the reveal!

Incredible the way the human mind works.

If you can get hold of a copy of the 'Derren Brown Investigates' shows there is a fantastic expose of this sort of thing on that where he poses as various flavours of psychics and then at the end exposes a fraud practicing 'hot reading' by feeding him wrong information in advance (actually I think the last bit was on his 'Messiah' programme and involved a faith healer using the same tricks).

Cheers,

Yuri
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Old 8th May 2012, 09:04 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Aggelos View Post
Hi. Nice to be with you for the first time.
Hey ! Welcome.
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Old 8th May 2012, 09:05 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Yuri Nalyssus View Post
Funny, I don't remember any mention of Jesus signing any merchandising deals in the new testament
For each cross you buy, 5 cents go to god's Apocalypse foundation.
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by X View Post
Also the book Combatting Cult Mind Control is supposed to be very good.
From Steven Hassan's twitter 4/13

"My new book Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs is in production and will be coming out shortly."

Everyone and their mother should be getting this paper
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Old 8th May 2012, 11:15 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
For each cross you buy, 5 cents go to god's Apocalypse foundation.
So, his dad gets all the money - typical!

Yuri
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Old 9th May 2012, 12:45 PM   #22
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uhh...

http://www.amazon.com/Combatting-Cul.../dp/0892813113 Too late I voted yesterday.
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Old 9th May 2012, 05:01 PM   #23
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I've had an auto response from the Department of Health, promising a reply within 20 days. I will update further when I receive the response.
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Old 10th May 2012, 04:06 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
His autobiography sold quite well.
Do you know something we don't...?
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Old 12th May 2012, 05:05 AM   #25
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This is an email I sent this morning to the Secretary of the Giuseppe Siacca Foundation, which awarded G. Paschalidis for Literature in 2010.

[Note: This post also appears in Science and Technology >> Please help debug unscientific claims]

---------------------------------------------------------

Dear Secretary of the Giuseppe Siacca Foundation,

In 2010 Premio Siacca honoured Mr Georgios Pashalidis of Greece with the
Literature Award on the grounds that:

"Georgios PASHALIDIS (Grecia)
Autore di testi di grande successo e di profondo spessore culturale
finalizzati alla riscoperta di valori esistenziali imprescindibili per il
bene dell’umanitÓ, ha dato un importante contributo all’approfondimento di
tematiche scientifiche, prodigandosi tra l’altro personalmente in molteplici
attivitÓ di volontariato." [link]

I believe that this award was a mistake and that the Giuseppe Siacca
Foundation was unaware of this person’s writings and alleged scientific
merit. Firstly, it is not true that this is an “Autore di testi di grande
successo”. Despite efforts to find his name mentioned in newspapers,
periodicals, the Internet etc., he seems to be completely unknown outside a
narrow circle of followers and a few minor local papers.

Secondly, his “contribution” to science (“ha dato un importante contributo
all’approfondimento di tematiche scientifiche”) is at least doubtful, if not
altogether unscientific, given that he claims to have acquired his knowledge
more or less supernaturally, as is implied in his CV:

“George Paschalidis is not just one more teacher introducing one more
theory. He is an eye- witness of the beyond. He loves Man and he has chosen
to transfer to us everything that he insightfully has come to know- and he
continues enhancing this knowledge. He used his clairvoyance constructively
for humanity as a whole[...]” [link]

As regards how scientific his contribution is, the following should serve as
an example:

“In this way, one can explain the “strange” phenomenon of frogs or fish
falling out of the sky, which science attributes to some sort of
hydro-whirlwind or hurricane that carries away these life forms from a
nearby lake or ocean. What happens in reality is that some sort of
atmospheric layer, where the temperature is -17oC, creates lightening at a
particular distance, we have the rise in temperature and pressure to 3oC and
3.5 bar respectively and the result is the creation of a life form (small
frogs). According to the high level of atmospheric pressure, one form of
life or the other is created at different time intervals. For instance fish
are created under pressure conditions of 0.8 bar while, for superior mammals
temperatures required range from -2oC till/and 1oC and atmospheric pressure
ranging from 1-7 bar. Because pressure changes occur momentarily and
strongly, the creation of the organism occurs instantaneously, resulting in
its complete development, literally, in one moment. This is also the reason
why the organisms “falling from the heavens” are equal in size.”(!)
[link]

In general, this person has neither ever provided any proof of his
scientific claims, nor published anything in any scientific journals, nor
collaborated with any remotely respectable scientists. The only references
to any sort of research or collaborations are to his own books or to a very
limited number of practically unknown medical doctors or other researchers.
You can get the full picture by visiting his website: [link]

In light of all the above, you would more than oblige if you could provide
answers to the following questions:

-Who read his books published before the award and how did he/she/they
present this information to the nomination/awarding committee?

-On what grounds was the great success and profound cultural insight of his
texts (“testi di grande successo e di profondo spessore culturale ”) based?

-How was his scientific competence evaluated?

I think that Premio Siacca did not render good service to the memory of
Giuseppe Siacca by honouring this person with the Literature award and I
believe that some form of rectification should be sought.

Thank you for your time and attention.

--------------------------------------------

How did you like the part about instant frog and fish creation? Has anyone seen the same claims appear anywhere else (where he might have picked them from)?

Last edited by Aggelos; 12th May 2012 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 15th May 2012, 09:34 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
His autobiography sold quite well.
Um...

Autobiography?

Auto?
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Old 15th May 2012, 09:36 AM   #27
Rincewind
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Originally Posted by Yuri Nalyssus View Post

Funny, I don't remember any mention of Jesus signing any merchandising deals in the new testament

Yuri
He didn't need to - why do you think he threw the money-lenders out of the temple?

Because they weren't paying the protection money...
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Old 24th May 2012, 05:24 AM   #28
Agatha
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I've a reply to my email to the Dept of Health:

Quote:
Thank you for drawing these comments [on Paschadalis' website] to the Department’s attention. Your email has been passed on to Professor Sir Mike Richards for his information.

Whilst the Department is aware that many cases of cancer are related to lifestyle, neither it nor the National Cancer Director have said that cancer is a disease created by man, nor have they endorsed the work or speeches of Mr Paschalidis and Mr Hatzieleftheriou.
So I think it's clear Professor Sir Mike does not endorse Paschadalis' views, contrary to the website linked above.
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Old 24th May 2012, 04:31 PM   #29
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Thank you, Agatha.
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