Come on man. The standard forum setup is PHP front end and SQL back end. Everything specific to members and threads is stored on the SQL back end--including member passwords and PMs. A person logs in to the forum via PHP, which in turn accesses the back end via SQL to obtain the necessary information on the member or thread. SQL is Structured Query Language, and many of the most popular databases are SQL. Every SQL database requires maintenance of some sort, and all of them provide a manual means, a query engine, with which the admin can view and modify the database. If the PHP can access it, the server administrators can too. With SQL the administrator can slice and dice the database like a sushi chef slices and dices tuna. Perhaps this discussion has gotten carried away. I don't give a rat's ass about PMs now or back then. Our admins accessed the PMs for the same reasons your admins access them. I will admit, however, that the admins did post some of the funnier PMs in our private area for us moderators to laugh at. In a tawdry sort of way of course.