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Donovan Campaign Against Shell

By John Donovan

Visitors may be interested in extensive comments made just weeks ago by Shell about this website and the “Donovans”.

We assume it was prepared by Shell in-house lawyers for the misinformation of Shell senior management, as it is full of spin, distortion and outright fiction.

More evidence that Shell is so twisted internally that it is incapable of admitting the unpalatable truth, even to itself.  The culture of deceit, self-delusion, cover-up and over-promise and under-delivery, which led to the reserves fraud, continues to this day.

Shell was compelled to supply the confidential document to us in accordance with our most recent application under the Data Protection Act.  The “xxxx’s” denote where Shell has censored/deleted names of third parties.


Confidential                                                                                  Focal Point: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Donovan Campaign Against Shell

Alfred Donovan and his son John, long-time critics of Shell because of a dispute over a marketing promotion in the UK
many years ago, run a website critical of the Shell Group. They also are a main driver of a
Wikipedia site ‘Controversies surrounding Royal Dutch Shell’. In the past they have promoted allegations from eg Shell
xxxxxxxxxxxxx over North sea safety and from xxxxx over alleged nuclear activity at a former Shell terminal at Earley outside Reading in the UK, and a number of Shell Malaysia related issues. An article about them in the 19 July 2009 Sunday Times was headlined ‘Two men and a website mount vendetta against an oil giant’. Recent posts on their “Shell Blog” have discussed Transition 2009 and some of the Shell people involved. John Donovan has recently been publishing material received following a second Subject Access Request to Shell under the UK Data Protection Act for personal information relating to him, and has been distributing leaflets outside Shell Centre.

• We are familiar with the activities of Messrs Alfred and John Donovan, who are longstanding critics of Shell. We are disappointed that they continue to seek to use any recent Shell developments to try and draw attention to their longstanding but unjustified grievances.
• Our general policy is not to comment on specific issues raised by the Donovans. Although we disagree fundamentally with the factual basis and interpretation of much of the information on which they base their various allegations, our past attempts to have a constructive debate have been unproductive.

• Shell took pains to ensure that Mr Donovan’s claims were fully investigated and settled many years ago.
Notwithstanding the impression he likes to give, he failed in the only case of his against Shell that went to court. It is therefore disappointing that the Donovans continue their long-running and acrimonious campaign against Shell on a wide range of subjects.
• Our position, as conveyed to the RDSplc website, is: “The lack of a rebuttal from, or comment by, Shell does not in any way constitute an acceptance on Shell’s part of the accuracy of any of the points made by you whether now or in the future, and whether on this or on any other matter, and we continue to reserve our position accordingly in respect of those matters.”

If asked whether the Sunday Times’ statement, that “When a new [Shell] executive took over marketing, he used several of their [the Donovans’ schemes but refused to pay for them”, is true:
• Absolutely not. Shell took pains to ensure that Mr Donovan’s claims – about a marketing promotion in the UK many years ago – were fully investigated and properly dealt with. The fact is that Mr Donovan failed in the only case of his against Shell that went to court. The Judge not only completely exonerated the character of the Shell executive in question, but also was highly critical of Mr Donovan’s actions throughout the process of litigation.
If asked about the alleged nuclear reactor at Earley:
• We have given a categorical written assurance that Shell has never been involved In “atomic’ or ‘nuclear” research at Earley or elsewhere in the UK, and that no nuclear bunker is buried under the former Shell terminal. According to the European Commission, the data show radioactivity levels substantially below those considered harmful to human health. Any radioactivity found on the site has nothing to do with Shell’s activities.
Did you avoid disclosing certain information in response to the Donovans’ Data Protection Act requests?
• We complied fully with the Data Protection Act request while making legitimate use of the ability under the Act to withhold information in certain limited circumstances, for example where It is legally privileged or to protect the identities of third parties. We did the same for the previous request.
Why do you not sue the Donovans for libel?
• The experience of corporate defamation plaintiffs is that, even when successful, such cases draw far more attention to the untrue allegations that they would receive without the case having been brought. However, we do not exclude this as a possibility.
Why do you not edit the Wikipedia site ‘Controversies surrounding Royal Dutch Shell?

• Other companies have been strongly criticised for editing entries about themselves, and doing so would only serve to draw attention to the site. We prefer to focus on making our own Shell sites as good as possible.

21 January 2010





See our recent article


We had to issue High Court proceedings against Shell six times: The litigation was long and drawn out over many years, exactly as Shell lawyers had threatened. Shell says that our claims were “fully investigated”. It does not say that the “investigations” included undercover activity involving a fake company, fake credentials and fake documents, nor that we and our witnesses were subjected to intimidation and by coincidence or otherwise, illegal conduct, including a series of burglaries in which Shell related documents were tampered with. Shell failed to disclose to the police its then extremely close association with Hakluyt & Company Ltd a private spy firm. Titled Shell directors were the ultimate spymasters and major shareholders in Hakluyt. Shell was a client and 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, targeting over 100,000 Shell employees. All six High Court actions and a County Court case were settled in our favour by Shell. All of our legal costs were paid by Shell. This includes the last claim.

The only claim which went to Court: Shell issued a so-called “joint statement” announcing a “stalemate” outcome saying that I had abandoned the claim and Shell had withdrawn allegations against me. I made NO compromise settlement proposals to Shell during the trial. Shell made TWO to me. I rejected the first and accepted the second. Shell paid my entire legal costs. As confirmed in writing by Richard Wiseman, Shell’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, the full terms of the settlement were not disclosed to the trial Judge, Mr Justice Laddie.  I also received a secret payment, which was not disclosed to Laddie. Thus he was kept in the dark about the true terms of settlement. Since the trial was settled out of court, there was no verdict. Laddie did make unfounded comments, which further confirmed his blatant bias in favour of Shell. He allowed the Shell legal team in Court, which included Wiseman, to get away with engaging in deception and attempted entrapment. He displayed not the slightest interest in the aforementioned Shell undercover activity and intimidation, which had completely undermined any prospect of a fair trial: Hence my reluctant acceptance of Shell’s second attempt to settle the case.

The Shell executive whose misdeeds led to all seven court actions, was on the make, as it plain from the evidence, including his diaries. Shell made its second settlement offer while the thoroughly dishonest Shell executive in question was in the midst of his cross-examination. The case was settled before he was asked about his offshore bank account and his setting up of his own business inside Shell, with a recorded ambition to retire from Shell at the age of 35.

Complaint lodged with the Lord Chancellor: After we subsequently wrote to the then UK Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, making a 14 page formal complaint against the Judge, Laddie resigned – the first High Court Judge to do so in decades. Laddie had failed to disclose a connection with the Moody-Stuart family despite being aware that Sir Mark Moody-Stuart was the then Group Chairman of the Royal Dutch Shell Group and that he and his wife, Lady Judy Moody-Stuart, had become personally involved in the litigation. We later wrote to the Judge raising the matter, but he refused to comment. He had also failed to disclose that his life long friend and unofficial spokesperson, Tony Willoughby, had founded an IP consultancy, which had Shell as a client. After his resignation in controversial circumstances, the Judge took up a consultancy position at the same firm. He was also involved in a commercial venture involving Richard Wiseman. Tragically, the Judge is now deceased.

Shell asked itself in the briefing document: “Why do you not sue the Donovans for libel?
• The experience of corporate defamation plaintiffs is that, even when successful, such cases draw far more attention to the untrue allegations that they would receive without the case having been brought. However, we do not exclude this as a possibility.

This is another deception. Shell has already excluded the possibility. Extract from Shell internal email dated 19 June 2009:

Hi Xxxx – Indeed I have been following this (you might also add xxxxxxxxxxx as one of the site’s favourite targets). ?????????????????????????????????????????????

??????????????? My previous advice to xxxxxxxx has been to ignore it – any Shell reaction would merely encourage Donovan to think we take this seriously and would likely stimulate more comment on/interest in the site. Also, eg we have long decided not to take legal action against the site (although Donovan would probably welcome this) – eg they often refer to xxxxxxxxxxx as xxxxxxxxxxxxx

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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