Frans Pop & Debian suicide denial


Trigger warning: this page talks about suicide and nothing else

Debian announced the death of Frans Pop in 2010.

There were numerous comments on the debian-private (leaked) gossip network.

We want to focus on one feature of the death. Was it Debian-connected?

One unique feature of the suicide is that Pop sent a resignation note to debian-private on 15 August 2010.

It's time to say goodbye. I don't want to say too much about it, except that I've been planning this for a long time. ... So long, FJP

These are private emails but Chris Lamb, Enrico Zini, Jonathan Wiltshire and Joerg Jaspert declared that privacy means nothing in September 2018. They decided that attacking a volunteer at a time of grief is perfectly acceptable. Sam Hartman and Jonathan Carter have both done their part to force the Frans Pop case into the open where it belongs.

Pop took his life on 20 August 2010. Steve McIntyre received an email from Pop's parents the next day, he shared the following with 1,000 developers on debian-private:

Yesterday morning our son Frans Pop has died. He took his own life, in a well-considered, courageous, and considerate manner. During the last years his main concern was his work for Debian. I would like to ask you to inform those members of the Debian community who knew him well.

A sub-thread emerged, discussing the phrase his main concern was his work for Debian. We share one example:

Subject: Re: Death of Frans Pop
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 13:39:21 +0100
From: Colin Watson <cjwatson@debian.org>
To: debian-private@lists.debian.org

On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 01:52:33PM +0200, Ludovic Brenta wrote:
> Steve McIntyre <steve@einval.com> writes:
> > "Yesterday morning our son Frans Pop has died. He took his own life,
> > in a well-considered, courageous, and considerate manner. During the
> > last years his main concern was his work for Debian. I would like to
> > ask you to inform those members of the Debian community who knew him
> > well."
> 
> Does that imply he took his own life *because* of Debian, which was "his
> main concern"?

This is probably the wrong thread for linguistics, but that phrase would
normally just indicate that Debian was his main interest.  In
http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0169810 under "noun",
this would be sense 2 rather than sense 1.

-- 
Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson@debian.org]

A similar reply came from Tim Retout a few minutes later. Both Colin Watson and Tim Retout tried to play down the connection of the death with Debian.

Let's consider the facts:

Debian is now publishing defamation on their bug tracker, their wiki, the keyring Git repository, changelogs, mailing lists and even the main page of the Debian web site. It is clear that Debian wants to force other volunteers through psychological anguish, just like that anguish going through Frans Pop's mind from 16 to 20 August as he decided whether to go through with it or not.

Therefore, we have no choice other than releasing this stuff. Debian Community News will not stand by while more volunteers are pushed over the edge by debianism.

For more details and full copies of the emails, please see the documents submitted to WIPO (revised version now available).

If Debian was sincere in their sympathy for Frans Pop, they would never impose psychological tortures on any other developer. Their refusal to admit or even acknowledge the possibility of a connection with these deaths is the ultimate insult to Frans Pop, Lucy Wayland, other victims and their families.

We extracted a photo of Frans from the old FOSDEM videos, you can watch the full video here.

Frans Pop, Debian, suicide