Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Scientology critic Shawn Lonsdale dies

Shawn Lonsdale, who began picketing the Church of Scientology in Clearwater, Florida in 2006, was found dead in his home of an apparent suicide. A garden hose was run from his car's exhaust into a window of his home, and a suicide note was found.

His protests against Scientology had declined last year, when he didn't renew the domain registration for his critical website and stopped posting much on his blog. His conflict with Scientology began and peaked in 2006, when Scientology-hired PI's dug up and publicized his two misdemeanor convictions for lewd and lascivious conduct, and subpoenaed him for a deposition regarding their claim that he was an agent of a group prohibited from protesting in downtown Clearwater. I would guess that the group in question was the Lisa McPherson Trust, and that the prohibition was the result of a legal settlement.

Lonsdale appeared in the BBC Panorama episode on Scientology, which can be found on YouTube in its entirety.


Disgustipated said...

WOW! Call me a conspiracy theorist but I doubt it was suicide! Why is it that all the deaths surrounding Scientology are so dramatic and 'stagey'.... Like their own video productions! Hmmm.. Just sayin'!

Jim Lippard said...

I'm inclined to believe this is a suicide unless some contrary evidence appears. There's a suicide note, he'd already withdrawn from his anti-Scientology activities, and he clearly had problems in his life.

I also think suicide is the best explanation for the deaths of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake, who claimed to be harrassed by Scientology--their story is told in the January 2008 issue of Vanity Fair. They also clearly had some problems with paranoia and alcohol and/or drug abuse.

Jim Lippard said...

BTW, New York magazine casts some doubt on Beck's claim to have never met Theresa Duncan to discuss being in her movie.

L Ron Hubbard said...

More on Shawn Lonsdale at and

Jim Lippard said...

Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake's story got the "Law & Order" treatment (in which the cult was called "Systemotics") in episode 15 of season 18, which aired on April 30, 2008.

There's a YouTube clip here.