Please read this before e-mailing me

Two points here:

Firstly, in response to a deluge of spam, I've had to put my automatic spam filter on its highest setting (short of a white-list). Even then some spam gets through and gets deleted after only a cursory glance at the subject. There is therefore a real danger a legitimate e-mail from someone I don't know might get deleted by accident.

If you are e-mailing me, please give your e-mail a subject line that I can easily distinguish from spam. I've had spammers use subjects such as "I want to talk", "Some questions" and "About your web site", so it's good if you can be more specific. Don't use a blank subject line. If you can't think of a subject, just put something like "Dunricin". Also, don't use BCC (Blind Carbon Copy - if you don't know what it is, you almost certainly aren't using it) as this falls foul of my spam filter.

I normally respond to all e-mails within a few days - at most a week if I'm away from the Internet. If I haven't got back with some response within a reasonable time then it's likely your e-mail got accidentally deleted. I never ignore legitimate e-mails.

If you think your e-mail went this way, don't be afraid to try re-sending it, preferably with a different subject line.

Secondly, as of Mar 2005 I am no longer allowed to discuss suicide methods. At all... With anyone... Under any circumstances... Not even if it's just for a school paper... And no, I can't even let you know where else to find methods information. As an Australian citizen, it will soon be illegal for me to do any of this.

Actually, the truth is more complicated than that. It appears to be definitely illegal to have a methods web site, because by putting something on the web it could be argued that I had the "intent" for it to be read by suicidal people (whether it would tend to discourage them from the act is not relevant). If, however, I merely pass on information to an individual person, it needs to be proved that I did so with "intent" for that person to either use that information themselves, or for them to pass "provide instruction" on it to others. Now in the past I've made it clear that I don't provide information to people who intend to use it on themselves, however, this may not be sufficient to protect me. I could see it being argued that any person requesting such information must either be going to use it themselves, or provide it to others, or else why would they ask ? Surely it would have been obvious to me that "wanting it for a school paper" was just a pretext etc.

In turn I could argue that there are indeed many people who are interested in methods data without wanting to use or promote it - the book "Final Exit" became a best-seller without triggering a suicide epidemic - and that if I was satisfied that the person had no such uses in mind, then I couldn't be said to have "intent", even if I were subsequently found to have erred in my judgement. But there are counter arguments possible, and when all is said and done, I don't want to have to argue my point in a court of law.

In other words, I'm a big yellow chicken.

If you've read all that and still want to talk, you can find me at greyk at hotmail dot com

unfortunate people and spam-bots have visited this page since June 16th 2003