I was directed to this from the JREF forum.
Shawn Lonsdale, a critic of the Church of Scientology, was found dead over the weekend.
It's being ruled a suicide.
The St. Petersburg Times had a report on the matter.
I never met him, but it does not mean that I haven't heard of him.
RIP Shawn Lonsdale, your work will not go in vain.
At this point may I suggest that you stop reading here.
Now I had said something in the JREF forum about his manner of death, but I thought it was something else.
The article above says:
" They found a garden hose stretched from the exhaust pipe of Lonsdale's car into a window of his home..."
I saw "exhaust" and "hose" and thought he was found in his car.
Except that he wasn't.
There is one thing that bugs me the most about this, why kill yourself in that manner? It seems to be rather complicated instead of killing yourself in the car.
They are waiting for a toxicology report though. I hope that you could still get some fingerprints off the hose but because it is in Florida I doubt that there would be any good ones.
Until they reveal the toxicology report and do a proper investigation (Lonsdale was on the receiving end of death threats) I think that he may have been driven to suicide, and this will go down in the history books as a successful example of "Operation Freakout"-like tactics being used by CoS.
The problem that I can see in such a death is that you need to determine if there was carbon monoxide present in his lungs. He was found at 12:20 pm so if there was foul play and he was murdered then I would most likely assume that they will find CO in his lungs because he might have been asleep.
12:20 was around the time that an odour was detected. If the odour was due to putrefaction then he would have to have died sometime on Thursday at the minimum. If not then the odour would be something in the exhaust fumes.
And now we get to the more interesting bit. If he was found with no CO in his lungs at all then it means that he was already dead. Unless it was an accidental overdose on something (which, given the circumstances seems to be pretty unlikely) then there would be a wound or presence of the drugs, that killed him.
If there are any drugs in his system that induce sleep but he wasn't taking them at all, it would mean that someone killed him and staged a suicide.
Although there is plenty of evidence that supports a motive for CoS to kill him, I don't really know if they did. It would be one of the worst things for them to receive publicity for killing a critic, it would be good for the critics though, but would CoS really kill someone for criticising them?
Strangely the answer based on available evidence suggests that they would. If they would really go ahead with it, I am not so sure.
Shawn's work will not go in vain, people like Anonymous will see to that, and we may also see his name remembered in what could only be called a battle cry.
May you rest in peace, free from all the troubles that you have had to face in the world.