REQUIEM FOR A GO-BETWEEN

The news echoed dully across Usenet last week, like the sound of a body being dropped to the floor. It traveled first from Finland across the Net and then bounced instantly to wired people everywhere in the world. If you like, you can experience that doomed moment yourself--it's still frozen there on the newsgroups that convene to comfort people in troubled times. On alt.sex.abuse.recovery, for instance, you'll find a discussion that begins with the subject line "The End of Penet.fi.

Penet.fi needs no translation for most of the people on that newsgroup. The name is shorthand for...

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