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Right of reply extended to Jeff Funkhouser, Production Manager, Shell/Motiva

Dear Mr Funkhouser

You may have seen the email I sent yesterday to Tom Purves inviting him to provide for unedited publication on our website, his response to the serious allegations leveled against him by contributors to our Shell Blog facility.

As you are probably aware, you have also been a target for some equally serious allegations.

Leaving to one side abusive comments and rumors, here is a list of some of the main allegations: –

1. You have helped to create a climate of fear by bullying Motivia employees, brandishing a knife on one occasion when allegedly threatening to gut employees like a fish.

2. You have been the subject of at least two DUI charges.

3. You treat employees who are not part of your inner circle with contempt.

4. You have been described as being unethical and corrupt.

5. You have been allegedly promoted and remain at the company solely because of a special relationship with Tom Purves, allegedly involving joint ownership of a property.

If this is all a work of fiction, please feel free to say so.

If you check with Shell lawyers, you will discover that you cannot count on Shell to intervene to protect the reputation of its senior managers and executives.

This may be because Shell is frightened what we might do in retaliation. As unlikely as this may seem, it is a fact gleaned from a legally privileged and Confidential Shell internal email released to us under the UK equivalent of freedom of information law.

Basically Shell set up a crisis reaction team to try to counter our activities.

Shell admits in the email that it is “on the back foot”… in “handling the Donovans”…

Extract:

Would one blanket statement response be more effective than several rebuttals? Should we be more forthright about the site and our views on it? What might happen (leafleting in the past)?

There was some macho content:

“…demonstration that we won’t tolerate the Donovan’s approach unchallenged any longer?”

However, since the email is over two years old, we assume fear of reprisal (Shell management did not like our leaflets being distributed outside their UK and Netherlands HQ offices every week day), won out over anger. Shell senior management continue to hide in their bunkers with hard hats on leaving others alone, unprotected, to receive incoming fire from postings on our website.

I would have thought that at the very least Shell/Motiva should offer to cover legal costs for Shell employees/managers/executives/officials to take action to protect their reputations if any wish to dispute published accusations.

Since no such support is apparently forthcoming, you may be well-advised to consider whether to take up our invitation of a right to reply whenever allegations are made against you on our website. If you do, your comments will, as promised, be published unedited. This offer applies to any Shell/Motiva employee whose integrity is impugned by any posting on our site.

Yours sincerely

John Donovan

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