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Insufficient benzed.... err caffiene

I have been awake since 0323 and it is now 1950 but I want to get this
thing to shut up before I die/sleep:
I have done quite a few authpf things and they always work. I have a
labrat on my workbench and logging in from another box using an authpf
account gets the usual Hello fred you are authenticated from sort of message.
The box I am trying to fix has:
/etc/authpf/authpf.conf touch-ed (0 length)
pf.conf with:
anchor "/authpf/*"
placed just after a block rule that will be overthrown by :
that says:
pass in on wi0 from $user_ip to any keep state
and the test user has:
as its shell.
When I log in from a remote station there is no error message. The
session looks just as though it was a login with an immediate logout.
The last line before the prompt returns is:
Connection to closed.
On the target /var/log/messages says:
Apr 8 19:46:20  puffy -authpf: cannot open packet filter device
(Permission denied)
I've never seen that before and Mrs Google didn't really help with only
4 hits that didn't make sense.
I've fried my brain and it is not seeing where I screwed up but I
cannot figure where permissions came into it.
So all you who wake when we sleep can show how fresh you are this
morning and how dumb it is to press on too long in the hope of
finishing my tax paperwork on a Saturday........
usable email for off-list replies is ash1 at witworx dot com but we'd
rather have the answer archived for someone else to find. Pointing out
my boo-boo in public is not too worrying if another can learn from it.
>From the land "down under": Australia.
Do we look <umop apisdn> from up over?
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