Death of Shawn Lonsdale
The St. Petersburg Times reports today on the apparent suicide of Scientology critic Shawn Lonsdale.
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It was a lonely end for a man who emerged out of nowhere in 2006 as a thorn in the side of the Church of Scientology.
For a few months in mid to late 2006, Lonsdale stood alone in downtown Clearwater beside a sandwich board that read “Cult Watch” in the heart of Scientology’s religious headquarters.
Videocamera in hand, he taped hours and hours of footage: Scientology buildings, church staffers walking the streets, security guards watching his movements and verbal confrontations with Scientologists. He then edited them into a “pseudo-documentary” about Scientology that eventually aired on local cable television.
Lonsdale, who was never a Scientologist, was an odd nemesis. He had no connection to the church before arguing with a Scientologist over redevelopment issues at a Clearwater City Council meeting.