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Shawn Lonsdale

Clearwater critic.
Shawn Lonsdale was found dead on February 16th, 2008.  His death has been ruled as a suicide.

Posted as "girvin" on alt.religion.scientology
Posted as "proflex" on Operation Clambake Message Board
IKlipz page, which contains many pictures as well (my thanks to the person who informed me about this link)

Shawn Lonsdale was one of the key person in the BBC Panorama documentary titled "Scientology and me". His presence allowed to show how the Church of Scientology, that tries to pass as benevolent church is actually quite sinister. His "Can't the church help me with that?" was perfect, to the point.

All the while, you had this public representative of the church — Tommy Davis — from which you would assume restraint and minimally good behavior, as a facade at least — not only avoiding to engage in a grown-up conversation, but thinking that it's a good idea to focus on what they perceive as someone's "crimes," to avoid any conversation at all.

People watching the show are not only left with unanswered questions, but creeped out by the behavior of the representatives of that church... People watching this can't help but think that Shawn Lonsdale did actually put the finger on a serious issue — forced labor here.

Really, I can't imagine a mother — Anne Archer — being proud of a son acting like that. But it's Scientology, where the doctrines and policies are self-serving, and where individuals are mere tools to execute these doctrines and policies.

 — Raymond Hill (I posted this commentary shortly after the BBC Panorama's "Scientology and me" show aired on May 14th, 2007)

BBC Channel 4 (March 1, 2008): John Sweeney on Shawn Lonsdale
Tampa Bay Online (February 20, 2008): "Scientology Critic's Death Thought To Be Suicide" by Baird Helgeson and Carlos Moncada
Shawn Lonsdale, who became one of the most bedeviling local critics of the Church of Scientology, died of an apparent suicide at his Clearwater home this past weekend. He was 39.

There was no sign of foul play, said Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly-Watts.

Police found the body about 12:30 p.m. Saturday after neighbors complained of a pungent smell coming from the home Lonsdale rented at 510 N. Lincoln Ave. Authorities found a garden hose running from the exhaust pipe of Lonsdale's car to the home.

They also found what is thought to be a suicide note, Daly-Watts said. The contents of the note won't be released until the case is closed. [...]

Radar (February 19, 2008): "Anti-Scientology Activist Found Dead" by Neel Shah

Shawn Lonsdale, a vocal Scientology critic who both directed his own anti-church documentary and appeared in a BBC Panorama documentary titled Scientology And Me, was found dead in his home over the weekend in an apparent suicide, according to the St. Petersburg Times. [...]

The Suncoast News (February 19, 2008): "Death Of Scientology Critic 'Does Appear To Be Suicide'" by Carlos Moncada

A Church of Scientology critic was found dead over the weekend in what police are calling a suicide.

The body of Shawn Lonsdale, 39, was found in his home at 510 N. Lincoln Ave. about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, said Elizabeth Daly-Watts, Clearwater public safety spokeswoman.

"I can tell you there are no signs of foul play,'' she said. "It does appear to be a suicide.''

A garden hose was found leading from Lonsdale's car into his home, Daly-Watts said. Neighbors called police after noticing a smell coming from the house. Inside, police found what is believed to be a suicide note.

The note was not immediately available. It will be made public once the case is closed, Daly-Watts said. She did not know when police would complete the investigation.

An official cause of death is pending, the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office said today. [...]

St. Petersburg Times (February 19, 2008): "Scourge of Scientology dies in apparent suicide"
Shawn Lonsdale, whose one-man crusade against Scientology made him a public enemy of the church, was found dead at his home over the weekend in an apparent suicide. He was 39.

Police discovered Lonsdale's body at 12:20 p.m. Saturday after neighbors reported a foul odor. They found a garden hose stretched from the exhaust pipe of Lonsdale's car into a window of his home at 510 N Lincoln Ave., according to Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly-Watts.

Daly-Watts said there were no signs of foul play, and police found what appeared to be a suicide note. It was not immediately available. [...]

St. Petersburg Times (September 17, 2006): "Scientology's scourge" by Robert Farley

[...] In Lonsdale, the Church of Scientology has encountered a confusing and difficult nemesis. Unlike most ardent Scientology critics, Lonsdale was never a member. And unlike other critics, Lonsdale has proved difficult to squash.

The key: He has very little to lose. [...]

Clearwater Citizen (July 13, 2006): "Man arrested after dispute with moviemaker" by Jim Harrington

CLEARWATER – Two men got into a scuffle on July 8 when one of them apparently disliked the other man’s taping of the goings-on at a street corner.
 Shawn Lonsdale, a 38-year-old independent filmmaker who said he is making a documentary for local public access TV, was standing about 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Fort Harrison Avenue and Cleveland Street with a sign by his side that read “Cult Watch.”
 He was panning the area with his camera, he said, when another man approached him on the street. Lonsdale said the man told him he had no right to film him and then grabbed his equipment.
 Lonsdale said he pulled the camera back, but the men got into a fracas. The police were called and arrested Michael Fitzgerald, 52, charging him with a single count of battery, according to Wayne Shelor, police spokesman.
Cult Watch 1

ScienoTimes: «Episode 1 of Cult Watch Church of Scientology in Clearwater, FL»

Downtown Shoot

Now for the MONEY SHOT... the security keeps the members on a tight path back and forth across the street and away from my corner but it's really hard to catch him actually correcting someone till today! A 30's female went to cross to my side and he sharply whistled at her and stepped out to grab her by the arm, she turned and held her arms out as if expressing "what did I do wrong", the crowd all turned and caught it too and she was sent back to the crowd to go in the opposite direction and appeared embarrassed like a scolded child... I shouted out "Why did you keep that poor woman... an adult in this free country from crossing the street"... "is this Russia or a free society... she is not a child, she has the right to go wherever whenever she wants... cult or not!... "thank you for giving me the best shot yet... 3 days I have waited for that shot" Everyone was freaked and in agreement judging from head nods and expressions...

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