Mr Jeroen van der Veer Shell Shareholders Organisation
Group Chairman, Royal Dutch/Shell Group 847a Second Avenue (bn 166)
C/o Royal Dutch Petroleum Company New York
The Hague, The Netherlands NY 10017 USA
21/4/04: 6 Pages By Fax Only To: 00 31 70 377 4142
Dear Mr van der Veer
As I write to you today, the remnants of Shell’s once proud reputation is being torn to shreds around the world.
The opening paragraph in one news report today says: “No one could have ever imagined that behind the stately façade of Shell, Britain's most establishment company, there was a web of intrigue, lying and cover-up that would do justice to a John Grisham novel.”
That assumption is wrong. I did more than imagine such things. I mounted a global campaign to bring to the attention of Shell directors and shareholders the gross misconduct of Shell senior management. On 1st March 1999 I warned Queen Beatrix of “a culture of deception and cover-up deeply ingrained at the highest levels of Shell”. A copy of a letter that I have sent today to Her Majesty is attached for your information together with my original prophetic letter of five years ago.
What a pity that no one took any notice of our vigorous efforts to focus attention on the arrogant dishonesty of Shell management and its hypocrisy in pledging integrity, honesty and transparency in all of Shell’s dealings. We wrote to every Shell director just as I am doing now. I can do no better than quote some extracts from a press release which Shell issued about the relevant campaigning efforts of my son and I.
“Shell U.K. Limited is defending legal actions which allege that Shell UK wrongfully used two forecourt promotions – ‘Nintendo’ and ‘Now Showing’ – developed by Don Marketing without its consent. The allegation is untrue. Mr Donovan appears to have little faith in his company’s claims. Since initiating legal proceedings he and his father have adopted the unusual course of mounting a publicity campaign to ventilate allegations against Shell and members of its staff. Mr Donovan’s father has recently founded what he calls a ‘Shell Corporate Conscience Pressure Group’ to promote this campaign.
Mr Donovan and his father have written to the directors of Shell UK and its parent companies stating that they plan to outline the allegations against Shell and its staff to the company’s shareholders, the President of the Board of Trade, a number of publications and to ‘Internet’ users. They have also claimed that they intend to write to media and shareholders calling for the resignation of senior Shell managers, allege that they plan to write a book, have sent publicity material to several Shell locations in the UK and have attempted to assemble negative views of Shell from some retailers. Shell believes these actions are an attempt to sully Shell’s reputation with sensationalist allegations, in the hope that the company may be coerced into settling false claims.”
Shell subsequently settled our “false claims” for £200,000 plus costs.
During the campaign which Shell management found so distasteful, leaflets were distributed at Shell HQ offices in The Hague and in London, and at the Shell Transport AGM. In a leaflet headed “WARNING - DO NOT TRUST SHELL UK”, I described Shell management as being “masters of double talk and double-dealing”. Another leaflet was entitled “SHELL MANAGEMENT LIES DECEPTION & COVER-UP”; this of course sounds just like the current news headlines about Shell!
I was eventually manoeuvred in dubious circumstances into signing a settlement agreement with Shell in respect of our most recent High Court Action. However in direct breach of the agreement Mr Wiseman could not resist the temptation of subsequently poisoning a relationship between my son and a third party company. He made written comments about my son which could only be interpreted as being malicious and derogatory. Consequently my son wrote to Mr Wiseman, Sir Philip Watts and Malcolm Brinded notifying them that Shell had repudiated the agreement. Yet Shell lawyers still seek to pretend that it remains in force.
I have mentioned in the attached letter written admissions made by Shell in regards to the activity of an undercover agent Mr Christopher Phillips – one of a number of agents targeted against us (according to another written admission by Shell). Shell lawyers remained silent about the deception and lies of Mr Phillips we had brought to their attention until they were driven into a corner by the detective work of my son and his solicitors. Only then did they admit that he was a Shell agent.
They also denied any connection with Mr ***** *****, an American undercover “spook” identified as such by the Guardian newspaper. Shell did admit using a serving German Secret Service as a freelance agent on undercover missions (see Sunday Times article dated 17/6/01 on Shell2004.com). However, I now have direct evidence of Mr ******* connection with the US Intelligence community. I refer you to the US National Security ******* website. I had already notified Shell of the unusual credentials of Mr *****, a fluent Arabic speaker with acknowledged military and political expertise on Middle East Countries, Nuclear ***, the geopolitics of *****, etc. The latest information is a clincher; his colleagues on the intelligence project “**********; *** ***** of **** Policy”, included Mr ****** *******, a specialist in Violent ******* and War, and Mr ******* *******, who has a ******** ******* in *** ******* Security (and is an expert in undercover investigations). I suspect that having been unmasked via the internet (check “***** ******* CIA” on “Ask Jeeves”) I will soon be hearing from freelance spy Mr ***** or his spymasters.
Mr ***** visited the UK specifically on an intelligence gathering mission against my family, our lawyer and our key witnesses. He used false pretences on behalf of his client by claiming to be working on an assignment for *** ********. This, as Mr Wiseman and Mr Colin Joseph of Kendall Freeman know, was completely false. Using his cover story he also gained access to privileged documents. Our High Court action against Shell was undermined by unscrupulous undercover tactics which had all the hallmarks of the mafia. Indeed there is credible evidence that Shell was involved in a criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
(*Webmasters note: We did hear from the relevant gentleman on 7 July 2004. He accepts that his credentials do point to him being an intelligence agent but denies that this is in fact the case. Four different individuals all gained the same impression from this gentleman about his credentials, which subsequently turned out to be a misrepresentation. The alternative conclusion is that all four individuals, including a solicitor, misunderstood what they were told by Mr *****, which seems extremely unlikely. In any event, it has been deemed appropriate for security reasons to delete his name and other information which might allow him or his family to be identified)
What are you going to do about my situation? Are you going to say nothing and leave it to Shell’s oily lawyers, as Mr Brinded has done to his discredit for several years? Or are you going to insist that Shell deals with me in a constructive manner to right the monumental injustice of being denied a fair trial? If Shell really is ready to begin the mammoth fight back to restore its former reputation, please point me in the direction of the person who is taking on that daunting role?
Chairman, Shell Shareholders Organisation (email: email@example.com)
Cc All remaining Shell directors (a fast shrinking endangered species)
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