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Banged Up Abroad by Shaun Attwood

Interesting Talks is incredibly excited to announce that Shaun Attwood is speaking on 16th September. Shaun went a recreational drug user to becoming a drug "king pin" in America selling 30,000 ecstasy pills per week.

You can watch his Banged Up Abroad episode which has been released in the UK just this week, here (it is re-branded for different countries and copy-write issues) 

In this amazing talk Shaun is going to tell you what it was like making millions of dollars and reaching God like status selling drugs, to then being in one of America's most dangerous prisons. 

Please be aware that this talk is not for the faint hearted. Shaun will be talking about the brutal conditions in jail including murder and gang rape. 

Raised in a small chemical-manufacturing town in northern England, Shaun was the first from his family to go to university. As a penniless graduate, he took his business degree to Phoenix, and worked his way up to become a stock-market millionaire.

But he also led a double life. An early fan of the Manchester rave scene, Shaun headed an organisation that threw raves and distributed Ecstasy. On May 16th 2002, a SWAT team knocked his door down.

Facing a life sentence, Shaun entered a lengthy legal battle. After two years of being held unsentenced, Shaun was convicted of money laundering and drug offences. He was sentenced to 9½ years, and served almost 6.

Shaun had only read finance books prior to his arrest. While incarcerated, he submerged himself in literature – reading over 1000 books, including many classics. By studying original texts in psychology and philosophy, he sought to better understand himself and his past behaviour.

Shaun was released in December 2007, and continues to campaign against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He keeps Jon’s Jail Journal going by posting stories mailed to him by his prison friends.

In July 2008, he won a Koestler award for a short story, which he read to an audience at the Royal Festival Hall.

Shaun presently lives near London, and talks to student audiences across the UK and Europe about his jail experience and the consequences he faced from getting involved in drugs and crime.

In 2013, Shaun's story is being televised worldwide to over 50 million viewers as an episode of Locked-Up Abroad/Banged-Up Abroad. 

Shaun will be selling copies of his books "Party Time" and "Hard Time" at the event. 


Booking tickets: To book a ticket you need to click on “Attend” on the right hand side of the page. You will then be taken through to the payment page where you need a credit or debit card. Please note that although Paypal is used for payment, you do not need a Paypal account, just a credit or debit card. 

We are not able to take payment in any other form. You can book up to 3 tickets maximum (you plus 2 guests). 

Tickets are not available on the door. 

Tickets are non-transferable and can not be sold to other members. 

We have a waiting list system in place. 

Venue: St James Church Conference Centre. Walk down Piccadilly on the left hand side, away from Piccadilly Circus until you reach Costa Coffee (part of the Waterstone’s building). We are then down the black metal stairs located about 10ft away from Costa.

Time: The Doors open at 6:30pm and the talk starts at 7pm sharp. 

Please note that we no longer allow late admittance to the talks. Late arrivals are extremely disruptive to the speaker, the audience members and the recording of the event. If you arrive past 7pm and the speaker has started, then you will not be permitted to enter the venue until the break at 7:45pm.

Refunds and cancelling tickets: Cancel your place with 24 hours notice, then a credit for a future talk (availability permitting) will be granted. 

To cancel your place and get a talk credit you need to follow these exact steps;

1. Change your RSVP to “not going”

2. Email me at [masked] and include your membership number (found on your profile page and indicate what talk you are cancelling and what talk you would like to attend instead.

Cash refunds are not available.

Waiting list: If you are on the waiting list then you will be sent an automatic notification should a place become available. Once this email it sent, it is first come first served. 

You need to change your RSVP to “going” and then make payment. If it is not allowing you to change your RSVP then it is because someone else has already got in there before you.

Food and drinks: Please feel free to bring in your own drinks, refreshments are not provided. Please however refrain from bringing in food.

Speaking at events: If you are interested in speaking at a future event, please email me direct at matt at interestingtalks dot co dot uk and put “speakers pack” in the subject bar. I will then send you all the details.

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  • Nicola F.

    I loved this talk. It was rivetting and sad. This was the most interesting talk I've been to.

    1 · September 18, 2013

  • Daniel C.

    Shaun's amazing talk is now live on the interesting talks website! you can watch the first 10 minutes here and is absolutely worth checking out. Thank you so much Shaun for such an incredible talk. Everyone who came to the event also get a week free access to the site. So you can revisit Shaun's amazing story and over 100+ hours of other talks too.

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    this was so different from all of the other meet ups i've been to but it was excellent, inspiring, scary and at times stomach turning. Shaun was immensely honest and likeable and hope he continues to support others by sharing what he went through.

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • Katie S

    Fantastic talk. Been mulling it over all day. Great speaker, lovely crowd of people - and as always, brilliantly stewarded/introduced by Matt. A great evening out.

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • AyPee

    Quite an experience. All power to a man trying to take on evil

    September 17, 2013

  • Beverley

    A powerful presentation, which stayed with me long after the talk had finished. Glad to see that Shaun has come through his experience and survived to tell the tale. I hope he continues to make a difference.

    2 · September 17, 2013

  • Norma P.

    An inspiring talk and illustration of how we have the capability of rising above terrible situations with the right mental attitude. Great story of survival and then going on to use such a traumatic experience for good.

    1 · September 17, 2013

  • Matt K.

    I want to say a massive thank you to Shaun for coming to speak at Interesting Talks. The talk is going to take a while to sink in. I haven't heard anything like tat before. We hope that you come back to Interesting Talks soon.

    3 · September 17, 2013

  • Matt K.

    Wallet found. Please contact me.

    September 16, 2013

  • Zara

    Brilliant talk! Shocking but inspiring.

    2 · September 16, 2013

  • Maria

    Wow..........I'm still buzzing..........amazing that Shaun has turned a bad situation in to something so positive and lived to tell the tale of his experiences! Carry on the campaign and raising definitely make a difference!

    3 · September 16, 2013

  • Helena

    Excellent talk by Shaun although I think I must have looked terrified throughout the whole evening. :-)

    3 · September 16, 2013

  • Janina A.

    Unfortunately I am no longer able to make it as something has come up at work! This is really frustrating as I was looking forward to it! Sorry Shaun!

    September 16, 2013

  • Aftab A.

    Hi, Not going to be able to make this unfortunately, freeing up my space, hopefully someone can make it instead.

    September 16, 2013

  • Katie A.

    Gutted to be missing this but have to attend a meeting! My space is now up for grabs

    September 16, 2013

  • Jayne

    2 spaces now available as my friend still in hospital :( :( :(

    September 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Have these spaces now gone? Xxx

      September 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Have these spaces now gone? Xxx

      September 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    How does the waiting list operate?

    August 22, 2013

    • Mark

      I would too!!

      September 12, 2013

    • Jayne

      It's still 50-50 if we will be attending 2mrw ;( I will hopefully know by tonight. I will update as soon as I can ty xxxx

      September 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to it!

    September 14, 2013

  • Matt K.

    Last space

    August 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds very interesting. I'm looking forward to it.

    August 17, 2013


    Watched B U A couple of weeks ago.. Very gripping and inspiring!.. Absolutely well done to Shaun for the way he turned his life around..

    August 15, 2013

  • Karen Louise O.

    As an ex-raver myself I love this story and cant wait to hear more!

    1 · August 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unlikely to be in London so don't think I will make it which is a shame as I would have been interested to see how one accidentally becomes a drug king pin, if only to avoid accidentally becoming one myself....

    3 · August 6, 2013

  • Jayne

    We can't wait

    August 3, 2013

71 went

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Refunds offered if:

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