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Former Shell exec John Johns threatens defamation proceedings

Nothing about Mr Johns contact with me since May 2007, using multiple aliases, including “Mr X”, until he resurfaced in the guise of being the founder of RDS Forensics, has been straightforward, but instead mired by creepy deceptive behavior on his part, completely incompatible with his claims of transparency.

Former Shell exec John Johns threatens defamation proceedings

By John Donovan

Former Royal Dutch Shell executive Mr John Johns sent me several several legal notices last week threatening defamation proceedings.  I have no intention of retracting my comments about him made on this website, which were justified.

He also demanded that I remove information from an article published on 5 May 2010 that was copied from his Royal Dutch Shell Forensics Website. The information included the following assertions by Mr Johns in relation to transparency:

“Lets be clear and transparent to help Mr Donovan and others.”

“To also help Mr Donovan and other visitors we want to be fully transparent.”

He invited Shell employees to trust him and provide input including whistleblower information about Shell. I  removed the copyrighted information on 11 June 2010 and replaced it with a summary of the deleted information.

Nothing about Mr Johns contact with me since May 2007, using multiple aliases, including “Mr X”, until he resurfaced in the guise of being the founder of RDS Forensics, has been straightforward, but instead mired by creepy deceptive behavior on his part, completely incompatible with his claims of transparency.

The strange behavior exhibited by Mr John Johns in correspondence does not qualify as being transparent, as he falsely claims to be. He is a bible thumping hypocrite.

Mr Johns claims that RDS Forensics is an “NGO” and that other unidentified parties are involved. Thus far he is the only named person involved and consequentially despite his claims to the contrary, appears to be a one man band. Nothing wrong with that unless, to deceive people, you pretend to be something else.

The legal notices accuse me of defaming him and aggrieved unnamed (anonymous) parties. If I had made false statements about him that were damaging to his reputation, then Mr Johns would have a case on those grounds.  My claims against him are true. Since it is impossible to defame an anonymous party, his claim that I have done so against unidentified aggrieved parties is a complete nonsense and suggest ignorance of relevant law and a lack of commonsense on the part of Mr Johns. He persisted with the same nonsensical claim even after this was pointed out.

Mr Johns in any event fatally undermined his claim by publicly drawing attention to my alleged defamatory comments even providing links to the allegations published on my website. Presumably this was an act designed to generate publicity for his website and/or his threatened case against me.  He did so although marking the legal notices as being private and including the following stipulation:

“21. Any steps to publish this letter or the facts of it on your website will accelerate the Aggreived Parties legal drive to place fully the matters with our lawyers into the UK and other courts .”

I note that when Mr Johns published on the Internet a claimed copy of his legal notice dated 11 June 2010, he deliberately and cunningly deleted the stipulation – “Private” – as it would have obviously reflected on his integrity if it had remained. So much for his claims of being transparent. He chose to mislead as to the content and basis that it was sent to me, thereby providing further proof that Mr Johns is a hypocrite, and a devious one as well.

His website is no longer operational because of pornographic advertising appearing on it over which Mr Johns apparently has no control. It does not say much for his competence that he ended up with a website meant to be promoting high moral ideals, which is actually also displaying pornographic material. I am sure that is not what he intended, but it is a reality, and he is the only named person involved in operating his website.

In his postings on the “Shell Blog” facility he profusely welcomed the free publicity I generated for his RDS Forensics website…


Hello. Thanks to this website and Mr Donovan Jnr for acknowledging the RDS Forensics website and our existance!

However, Mr Johns objected when I raised perfectly legitimate questions about him bearing in mind (1) his claims to be transparent (2) my realization that in fact he is the exact opposite, failing to declare his previous contact with me and (3) that he was projecting himself, his website and objectives as being on a high moral platform.

The Shell Blog comments I posted relating to Mr Johns…

John Donovan on May 5th, 2010 at 5:02 pm


Mr Johns, or should I call you “Mr X”, bearing in mind correspondence by email in 2007 and 2008 with Mr X using that rather unimaginative pseudonym. The correspondence was odd to say the least with alleged incriminating Shell internal communications and documents dangled as carrots, but never supplied. Could be a good time to engage in some transparency. I still have the emails and can publicly point out certain common features if needed so that those interested can draw their own conclusions. Or we can cooperate if you are genuine and prepared to act accordingly. A paragraph from my email to Mr X on 26 February 2008: “You promised Shell internal emails which would confirm your allegations of various alleged Shell scandals but instead of supplying them, moved the goal posts again and sought information from us.” Mr X wanted to extract information about our contacts in the Russian government relating to the Sakhalin 2 project. This was after Shell had set up a counter measures team in an effort to combat our activities. The ball is in your court Mr Johns.

John Donovan on May 6th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I note that there is no denial from “John Johns” that he and “Mr X” are one and the same. See posting immediately below. Also no denial that he did not publish his name and identify himself as being the owner of the RDS Forensics website until after I published my reservations. “John Johns” says that he has “court cases active” against Shell. Like Shell, he trumpets on about transparency, honesty etc. Since it is vital that he establishes credibility before expecting anyone to entrust him with sensitive information about Shell, I suggest that he responds to this posting and identifies the court cases he claims are underway. Until we know more about this person, I strongly advise interested parties not to entrust any information to him or his website. If there is no satisfactory response, I will contact Shell and in the interests of transparency, will, as per our normal practice, publish the correspondence. When I raised with “Mr X” my suspicions that he was conducting a Shell sting operation, he never replied and I heard nothing more until “John Johns” arrived on the scene, also seeking Shell insider information in suspicious circumstances.

In fact, there is still no denial from Mr Johns that he corresponded with me previously on the basis indicated.

The first contact from Mr Johns was via a German yahoo email address on 2 May 2007, when he used the alias “xx husspanzer”

His email contained a critic message in German concerning tax fraud in the Philippines. Shell had been accused of tax fraud in the Philippines.

For the subsequent emails to me in 2007 and 2008, he switched to English language and used various aliases including “Mr X”.

In his emails, he made extremely serious allegations about Shell which match with those he has made elsewhere in his own name.  His claims about documents in his possession match with claims made by Mr Johns. Certain distinguishing information in emails he sent to me using aliases match with information originated by Mr Johns and with correspondence he has recently published in bizarre video clips on YouTube, which in my humble opinion, should display a health warning about potentially causing motion sickness.

I was already certain that he and Mr X were one and the same. The latest evidence provides further confirmation.

I have on a number of occasions tried to cooperate with Mr Johns in his various guises but have found him impossible to deal with. I note his claim that 14 firms of lawyers have ditched him and his claims against Shell (apparently involving alleged wrongful dismissal by Shell Malaysia). He suggests that the refusal of 14 successive firms of lawyers to continue representing him is in some way down to Shell.  I suspect that it is for another reason.  It would be interesting to see the grounds on which he was dismissed by Shell.

I fell out with him in his “Mr X’ persona when I asked him to provide Shell internal documents confirming the allegations he was making against Shell, including high level corruption and Shell being responsible for alleged death threats made against him and his family which he said he had recorded and reported. I refused to publish his allegations without first supplying the documents to Shell so that the company had the opportunity to confirm or deny authenticity and comment on his allegations.

Mr Johns seems intent on holding what he considers to be leverage over Shell without actually providing sight of his claimed supporting evidence. After promising that I could publish the documents on he never supplied them. Now he plays conjuring games with the video clips on YouTube zooming in and out on parts of correspondence, without (on the ones I have viewed), ever providing a full clear view.

Under all of these circumstances, any claim to transparency, honesty and integrity by this devious individual is in my view a joke.

It might well be that he does hold evidence which incriminates Shell. All I can say is that after three years of intermittent time wasting contact with him, he has not produced an iota of evidence that I have seen to support his various allegations against Shell.

I suppose that it says something positive about Mr Johns that despite the evasion, he has not actually denied, despite multiple challenges, that he is “Mr X”, as I have stated.

The question for Mr Johns is whether he is prepared to commit perjury in litigation documents and under oath testimony denying that he has engaged in subterfuge and evasion during his correspondence with me.

I have some advice for any lawyers approached by Mr Johns on this matter. Before becoming involved, ask Mr Johns to swear on the bible that he is not “Mr X”, since that is the crucial issue in the comments I have made against him. At any time he could have said: “John, you are completely barking up the wrong tree. I am not Mr X and have never corresponded with you by email except in my own name – John Johns.”

Because of his religious convictions Mr Johns has been unwilling to put an outright lie into writing.

Truth is what this is all about. There is no defamation if what is stated is true.

In my view it is an evil act on the part of Mr Johns to try to force me into retracting and apologizing for comments he knows to be accurate.  He has under false pretenses demanded money with menaces (threat of legal proceedings) on behalf of unnamed unquantified “Aggreived  Parties” (his misspelling) for unspecified opened-ended amounts of money.

20. That you are required to pay all and any legal and disbursement costs of this matter for  the Aggreived Parties within 7 days of date of presenting said copies of invoices.

If Mr Johns, who gives every impression of being in urgent need of professional help, does not within 28 days issue defamation proceedings after all the threats and bluster, I will publish information which will further expose his breathtaking hypocrisy.

*Bearing in mind his more fantastic claims, for example that he and his young family have been detained in Malaysia by Shell for the last five years, some readers of his writings might wonder if “Walter Mitty” might have been a more appropriate alias for him to use than “Mr X.”

*New end paragraph added 14 June 2010, 19.13 pm UK time

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