Chain Letter - an excersize in exponential growth

Chain Letter

* * * * * * * * * * * * * If you have read this far, you must keep reading and follow the instruction at the end.

This letter was originated in India, and has been received by 101,572 people. It is not your usual chain letter, as it can curse you for eternity. When I first got this chain letter it was so long and had so many stories written by people who had received it beforehand, in an effort to warn those who will receive this letter someday. Since it was too long to copy them all, I only included the original messages when typing it into e-mail. If you want to add something of your own to this letter, you can; but don't forget to copy the original paragraphs.

Here is the story, as it was written by the original author:

In December of 1955, five of us gathered in my house, and we talked about chain letters, which had become popular among our peer. One of us proposed an idea that interested us: making our own chain letter. We started it just for fun, and we did enjoy it when people we knew believed that their bad luck was caused by the letter. But the fun didn't last for long...

About four months later, one of us died from a wound received by one of his own dogs. We didn't know -- and didn't believe -- that it had anything to do with the chain letter we had written. Seven months later, another one of us, the one who came up with the idea to start the chain letter, hung himself for no reason. We later learned that he had received the chain letter that we had made up (and didn't send it, since he knew it was not a real chain letter), but we still could not believe that he had been cursed by the letter. The chain letter had at that time been received by more than 800 people, and contained the following, written by a woman wrongly inprisoned in an insane asylum:

"I got this mail exactly one year ago tomorrow, and three of my friends died. I am afraid that I will be the next one who will die unless people in this hospital believe my words and let me sendthirteen copies of this letter..."

Unfortunately, one of the three of us that were still alive was sent to a mental institution a few weeks ago, and I feel that this is my last hope. I don't think I have enough time to explain what happened to us in every detail. So, now I continue the chain in hopes that one of you is the one who can stop this cursed letter. However, if you are not totally sure that you are the one who can stop this, please don't test your luck. I will pray for you and everyone who will receive this letter, hoping that one day the curse can be broken.

INSTRUCTIONS: Forward this letter to thirteen (13) people. You must include the above paragraphs, although you can write more below these instructions. Do not erase anything that appears within the asterixes (*). Make sure you add 13 to the number of people that have received this letter.