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Royal Dutch Shell deceiving itself

By John Donovan

Printed below is a Shell internal document from May 2006 which we assume was prepared by Shell in-house lawyers for the misinformation of Shell senior management.

It deliberately paints a false picture, probably to protect Richard Wiseman, the former Shell Legal Director who made such a hash of Shell’s dealings with us.  He, more than anyone else at Shell, is responsible for the humiliating situation that Shell is now in with regard to the website. Mr Wiseman is now the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Shell was compelled to supply the confidential document to us in accordance with an application under the Data Protection Act.  Crosses are marked where Shell deleted information.

All of the text in black is Shell’s. We have inserted our comments in red text.

15.5. 2006


Focal Point:

Issue: Mr. Alfred Donovan ??

Issue Description: Mr. Alfred Donovan, a long-time critic of Shell, runs website that is critical of the Shell Group. In May 2006 leaflet distributors working on behalf of Mr. Donovan distributed materials outside Shell Centre and The Hague headquarters. To date, five leaflets have been distributed – two relating to an ex-employee of Shell Malaysia who, the leaflets claim, was sacked unfairly after informing his management of concerns via the whistle blowing procedure; another relating to Shell Malaysia employees engaged in legal proceedings against Shell, and others relating to Mr Donovans long running disagreement with Shell.

Further details on each are given below under ‘supporting messages’.

(The Shell Malaysian employee was Dr John Huong, a production geologist. On moral grounds, he blew the whistle internally on false hydrocarbon reserves figures which led to the reserves fraud. EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell companies collectively sued him for defamation in respect of allegations published on our website under his name and later sought his imprisonment for alleged contempt of court.)

Key Messages: • We are disappointed that Mr Donovan’s long-running campaign against Shell has again resurfaced. ?• We are fully aware of the accusations made by Mr Donovan – however, as the cases (xxxxx and and ‘Team A’) are pending before the Courts, and as all parties are actively participating in the hearings, it would be inappropriate to comment.

(The second legal action was brought against Shell by several hundred  former employees of Shell in Malaysia – “Team A” – which alleged that Shell had misused employee retirement fund monies.)

Supporting Messages: • We are very familiar with the circumstances of Mr. Donovan’s case over many years. Shell went well beyond the strict call of duty in ensuring Mr Donovans claims were fully investigated and more than fully settled many years ago.

(Complete distortion. Gives the impression of a benevolent generous Shell. In fact Shell never voluntarily settled any claim. We had to issue High Court proceedings four times. The litigation was long and drawn out, exactly as Shell lawyers had threatened.)

Issue Sensitivitv/AGM relevance John Donovan and his father, Alfred, ran a business, Don Marketing, which specialised in the creation of promotions. Mr Donovan brought the “Make Money” promotion to the UK and Shell UK Limited (Shell) paid him for its use. Shell also paid for the rights to use several other Don Marketing promotions.

In the early ’90s when Shell wanted to use Make Money again, Mr Donovan claimed that he still owned the concept. Shell paid Donovan for the transfer of the concept.

(Shell forgets to mention that we had to issue a High Court Writ and threaten an injunction before Shell settled.)

Mr Donovan then launched legal action against Shell in connection with two other promotions. While Shell was confident of defeating the claim, in the interest of saving costs for both sides, it was agreed that the matter would be settled.

(How kind of Shell lawyers to bear our interest in mind – “saving costs for both sides” by settling both claims and paying all legal costs.)

Following this settlement, Mr Donovan sued Shell again. He claimed that he had invented the Smart promotion and that Shell had “stolen” it from him. The case went to court but Donovan eventually abandoned his claim.

(Shell issued a press statement claiming a “stalemate” outcome and that I had abandoned the claim. In fact, Shell paid my entire legal costs in a compromise settlement, the terms of which, as Wiseman has subsequently acknowledged, were not even disclosed to the trial Judge. The deal was offered by Shell, approved by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, and I received a secret payment.)

Despite the settlement of the legal actions Alfred Donovan has continued to campaign against Shell from time to time.

Given his recent leafleting activities outside Shell Centre and the C16 office in The Hague, it is entirely likely that he may have people also handing out leaflets outside the AGM locations.

As will become plain from further Shell internal documents we will be publishing, Shell was obsessed by the thought that we might raise questions at a Shell AGM and tried, year after year, to anticipate what questions we might raise. In fact we have not raised any questions at a Shell AGM for over a decade.

Domain Name registration Prior to the public announcement of [the unification], Shell secured the domain name and similar names in almost every country. Following the announcement, Mr. Donovan also registered a number of domain names including Shell filed an administrative complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organisation requesting the transfer of the names to Shell, but the adjudication panel did not accept that there were grounds for the transfer. There is no appeal from that decision, and although there may be scope for a separate legal challenge through the courts, Shell did not consider that such action was justified in this case.

(Translation – Shell decided that it would be a waste of time taking court action over the domain name.)

Q&A’s 1. What is Alfred Donovan currently accusing Shell of? Mr Donovan’s current promotional literature is supportive of xxxxxxxxxx an ex-employee of Shell Malaysia who claims he was unfairly sacked; Shell Malaysia employees engaged in legal proceedings against Shell, and his printed and web-based materials continue to promote a number of Mr. Donovan’s long running disagreements with Shell.

Mr Donovan’s personal grievances with Shell includes accusations by Mr Donovan that he, his son and other members of his family were the subject of a dirty tricks campaign by Shell during the last piece of litigation and that Shell were responsible for burglaries which took place during the litigation. Shell’s solicitors did employ a respectable firm of enquiry agents during the course of the litigation. They acted entirely properly and legally. It is untrue that Shell had anything to do with any intimidation or burglary. Shell offered complete co-operation with the police at this time, but this wasn’t taken up.

(Shell failed to disclose its then extremely close association with Hakluyt & Company Limited a private spy which had common directors and major shareholders. Titled Shell directors were the ultimate spymasters of Hakluyt. Shell was a client. Hakluyt carried out undercover investigations/missions against perceived enemies of Shell. Recent Shell documents show that “invisible” investigations/operations are still being directed at us, by now on a global basis involving all Shell employees.)

2. Alfred Donovan accuses Shell of using its association with the Hakluyt Society and through them, British Intelligence to conduct a dirty tricks campaign. Is this true? No. There is no association between Shell and the Hakluyt Society in connection with our dealings with the Donovans.

(We have never accused Shell of any association with the Hakluyt Society – a registered charity which publishes “scholarly books on voyages of discovery, history of navigation, exploration, nautical travels, maritime history and geographical discovery”. Thus the author of this document could truthfully state: “There is no association between Shell and the Hakluyt Society in connection with our dealings with the Donovans.” What no one at Shell can truthfully claim is that there has been no close connection between Shell and Hakluyt & Company Ltd, the firm set up by Shell and former/current members of British Intelligence.)

3. Alfred Donovan alleges that the judge and counsel in the last litigation against Shell conspired against the Donovans and their company? Donovan’s allegation appears to be solely based on the coincidence that the son of a former Shell director was based in the same chambers as Donovan’s counsel at one time. Donovan alleges that the director’s son would have gained access to confidential papers and would have passed these on to his father at Shell. Donovan also alleges that the judge was a party to the conspiracy.

(The “former Shell director” was the then Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart. The Judge, Mr Justice Laddie, refused after the case was settled to deny a connection with Tom Moody-Stuart. By coincidence or otherwise, after we wrote to the UK Lord Chancellor making a formal complaint about Mr Justice Laddie, he resigned in controversial circumstances. We then discovered that he had an even closer undisclosed link to Shell. His life long friend had founded an IP consultancy which had Shell as a client. After his resignation, the Judge took a position at the same firm. Also involved in a commercial venture with Wiseman.)

5. Mr. Donovan alleges that suspension of the Tell Shell Forum site is because “Shell no longer wish(es) to hear what shareholders and current/former employees want to say”. Is this the case? The Tell Shell Forum was suspended at the end of 2005. We are currently redesigning our forum and plan to be back on-line with regular, business focused discussions in the future.

All of the previous debates have been archived and are available to view. Certain remarks were removed for legal reasons.

The site still retains a ‘contact us’ option – and we listen and respond as best we can to comments and concerns.

(This confirms the censorship of the Tell Shell forum which Shell had previously claimed was an uncensored forum for open and lively debate. After we exposed the secret censorship, Shell “temporarily” suspended the forum. That was years ago. It has never reappeared. Shell cannot cope with open debate in the original Tell Shell interactive format. It has too much “internal laundry” which cannot be aired in public. Shell Dialogues appears to be a mainly a Shell propaganda platform.)

Original document supplied by Shell and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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