Directors of PGS Exploration UK Limited: Rune O. Pedersen, PGS ASA CEO and President; Gottfred Langseth, PGS ASA CFO and EVP; Christin Steen-Nilsen, PGS ASA Chief Accountant
PGS ASA General Counsel, Lars Mysen
PGS UK Head of Legal, John Francas
Former PGS Exploration UK Limited Secretary, Carl Richards
PGS ASA Data Protection Officer, Daphne Bjerke
PGS ASA SVP Global Human Resources, Terje Bjølseth (Oversaw grievance process)
PGS UK Human Resources Manager, Gareth Jones
PGS ASA EVP Operations, Per Arild Reksnes (Oversaw grievance process)
I am a USA citizen who worked for the UK affiliate of Norwegian company Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (now PGS ASA) [PGS]. The directors of PGS Exploration UK Limited (PGSUK) are Norwegian parent company executives. PGSUK sponsored me and my dependent family members on a Tier 2 visa from 26 September 2010 through 31 December 2013. My employment was terminated through my signing a settlement contract agreement (SCA).
I believe that my human rights have been violated and that I was defrauded, defamed, illegally terminated from employment and then blacklisted for being a whistleblower. What I ask for is a thorough and fair third-party police investigation into my allegations. Much of the evidence backing my claims is posted on http://marineseismicsurvey.com/news/. I regard my postings as protected public disclosure, or whistleblowing. PGS governance and personal data processing practices have been proven to me to be non-compliant, dysfunctional and corrupt. Further, I do not want to believe that the Norwegian corporate executive class is above the law. Are they? (Sadly, thus far it seems that they are.)
My writing to you is an act of desperation. Sadly, I have found PGS corporate governance and compliance avenues of redress unresponsive to whistleblowing allegations of PGS executive criminal behaviors. I am a victim of these alleged crimes. In September 2018, PGS executives who serve as PGSUK directors, Rune O. Pedersen, PGS CEO and President; Gottfred Langseth, PGS CFO and EVP; and Christin Steen-Nilsen, PGS Chief Accountant, filed a criminal complaint against me in Thailand, where I was living with my Thai wife and children, for publications that I contended to be protected public disclosure, or whistleblowing. An additional similar claim was filed against me by former PGSUK secretary, Carl Richards. I believe that the claims filed in Thailand were illegal extortion intended to silence accusations made by a victim of their crimes. PGS bypassed the confidentiality clauses of my original employment contract, as well as the terms and conditions of my termination settlement contract which were both governed by the Laws of England. The UK Public Interests Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA), which protects whistleblowing, is referenced within the contract confidentiality clauses. To avoid criminal prosecution in Thailand, I was compelled to sign another agreement that would “gag” my continued whistleblowing and essentially take away my rights under English law and contract. I contend that the claims forwarded in Thailand breached the terms and conditions of my original employment contract (OEC) and subsequent termination settlement contract (SCA) and otherwise violated the confidentiality clauses which included PIDA protections. I haven’t the financial resources to defend myself. However, through online publications, I have challenged the legality (Norway/UK laws) of the claims put forward against me in Thailand. PGS refuses to answer my concerns clearly and definitively. Instead, I continue to be harassed and threatened with further criminal and civil prosecution in Thailand by the acting (English company) PGS UK Head of Legal, John Francas.
My persecutor’s have virtually unlimited resources at their disposal to make my life hell. How can I fight back alone? The terms and conditions set forth in the Thailand agreement seem to also violate similar protections provided through Norway’s Working Environment Act (WEA). My employment contracts with PGSUK were governed by the laws of England. As recently as June 2018, Francas signed a letter where he reaffirmed the terms and conditions of the SCA were still in effect. So, how did I end up defending claims translated from Thai language to English in Thailand last September? I first published my allegations of PGS wrong-doing online the LinkedIN™ Pulse platform on 3 July 2015. Any online publication which breached the confidentiality terms and conditions of the SCA should have been actionable. In fact, it would have been irresponsible for the directors and secretary to not take such actions against publications which disparaged PGS or any of its agents. Failing to take action until September 2018 seems to be negligence and a breach of their fiduciary duties. It would also be a betrayal to any named subject who was wrongly accused of non-compliant and/or criminal behavior within my publications. PGS never took any official action against me for numerous publications that were posted between 2015-2016.
Throughout 2016, I intentionally made the PGS legal compliance office aware of my concerns and e-mailed them links to my many blog postings, and even sent complete articles for them to comment on. Pedersen was employed as PGS General Counsel during this time. I am convinced that Pedersen was directly involved in coordinating the original fraud as well as the creation and uttering of forged documents. Pedersen has never even commented nor challenged my published online allegations. Many of my publications focused on then PGS CEO and President and former PGSUK director, Jon Erik Reinhardsen (now Equinor Chairman of the Board) accusing him of wrong-doing. Reinhardsen and his team never responded! Similarly, Reinhardsen has never defended his decisions and actions nor stood-up or felt the need to exonerate falsely accused employees since 2015. But, in September 2018, my publications, including a published and unanswered Open Letter to the Petroleum Geo-Services ASA Board of Directors, is criminal defamation in Thailand? No one on the Board of Directors for PGS can answer simple questions? It seems legally impossible that such claims can be forwarded in Thailand without being thoroughly investigated and vetted for compliance in Norway and/or the UK. It demonstrates that directors of PGSUK were not engaged for several years. These PGSUK directors should be removed and replaced, is the message that I get. It is worse than that. The former and current directors need to be investigated by law enforcement for their covering-up alleged illegal and violent behaviors perpetrated against me and my family. This is shameless behavior. No agent of PGS had ever even contacted me officially prior to the delivery of criminal claims to my wife’s house in Thailand. This is not professional behavior aligned to published PGS Core Values and PGS Code of Conduct. It was violent and mean-spirited. And I will not be threatened into silence by incompetent and corrupt company officials, even if they reside in “corruption-free” Norway.
In the USA, citizen’s have no qualms about speaking truth to or criticizing those who hold political power. What is often more dangerous for whistleblowers is speaking truth to those with entrusted corporate power. I could have never imagined the events of the past five years that have exacted such a toll on me and my family. I am depressed and losing hope. I have told PGS this. Nonetheless, PGS just want me to be silent and let them live in their fantasy world of never being caught. When I submitted my workplace grievance in 2013, I elaborated on the health issues and risks to organizations that workplace bullying and harassment cause. PGS withheld health advice and care following my delivery of the formal grievance in 2013. Rather than behave ethically and in accordance to the published policy, procedures, and values, PGS leadership decided to place my health and the health of my family at risk before accepting responsibility. This is sick and evil behavior. It violates the Norwegian Corporate Governance Code of Practice. But, somehow, Reinhardsen escapes investigation and inquiry and ascends to become the Chairman of the Board for Norway’s largest corporation which is largely state owned? Such allegations are a blemish to the reputation of Norway and should be investigated. If the allegations are true, and I believe that they are, then Norway is operating in a mythology which disrupts the reality of real-time commerce. We cannot accept, globally, despotic and corrupt corporate leadership. There may be a lot more corruption in Texas. I do not know. What I do know is that I am a Texan who believes he is a victim of crimes perpetrated by executives of a Norwegian company. My justice requires the attention and help from the Norwegian government. Please help me.
Steven D. Kalavity
What are you afraid of Rune Olav Pedersen, Gottfred Langseth, Per Arild Reksnes, Christin Steen-Nilsen, Carl Richards, John Francas, Lars Mysen, Gareth Jones, Daphne Bjerke, Terje Bjolseth and Berit Osnes? The truth will set you free – mentally, anyhow.
Narcissistic abuse includes psychological manipulation tactics like shaming, isolation, gaslighting and stonewalling.Echoism Is the Little-Known Condition that Affects Victims of Narcissistic Abuse
Ethics and oversight are what you eliminate when you want absolute power.DaShanne Stokes
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.John Stuart Mill
One of the most destructive ramifications of evil despotism is the controlling of individual will and freedom through the creation of conditions that force undesirable choices which would never even be contemplated under normal and reasonable circumstances. One of the most vividly dramatic examples of such despotic evil is depicted in the 1982 movie, Sophie’s Choice. Sophie’s choice is deciding which one of her two children shall live or die. If she does not choose one to live, both will die. It is a choice given to her by a Nazi officer upon their arrival to Auschwitz. Of course, it was really no choice at all, but a cruel and sadistic act of control and dehumanization. In September 2018, two criminal claims were delivered to my wife’s house in Thailand by a Thai law firm representing the directors of PGS Exploration UK Limited, 4 The Heights, Brooklands, Weybridge, England, KT13 0NY (PGSUK). PGSUK directors are executives of Norwegian parent company, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (PGS): Rune Olav Pedersen, PGS CEO and President; Gottfred Langseth, PGS CFO and EVP; and Christin Steen-Nilsen, PGS Chief Accountant. I had just embarked alone on a journey to visit the USA the day before. I received copies of the claims by e-mail, but they were in the Thai language. This delivery terrified my wife and my in-laws, and news of it terrified my elderly mother and my family members in the United States. My mother-in-law went to the hospital and I was on the other side of the world managing this reality. I have questioned the propriety and legality of these delivered claims. What I know for certain is that the delivery of these claims did not meet the ethical values test. Therefore, a company that claims that their decision-making processes are guided by shared Values and a Code of Conduct, and align themselves with the UN Global Compact Principles, cannot be really acting compliant if their decisions and actions do not comport to their published values, but rather deceive, cause terror, hardship, and illness instead.
The second claim was put forward by Carl Richards, who resigned as PGSUK secretary on 25 May 2018, and apparently also stopped working as Head of Legal for the PGS UK. (Richards resignation as PGSUK secretary is part of the public record and can be obtained at UK Companies House website.) On 5 April 2018, I had received an e-mail from a personal (non-PGS company) account purporting to belong to Richards. Within this e-mail, Richards threatened legal action against me in Thailand for my online blog publications and image cartoons I had published. How can a Thai law firm possibly know what is defamatory regarding Richards, better than Richards himself? Richards requested that I remove content which referred to him personally. Richards made it clear that he was not acting in his official capacity as PGSUK secretary. At the time, I actually tried to engage Richards and stated my position as a whistleblower and also requested proof of identity before I engaged in any more substantive discussion. I never received a response to this e-mail. On 17 May 2018, I received an e-mail from a person purporting to be a Thai lawyer stating that they represented Carl Richards. Again, I did not ignore the e-mail. I stated my position that I claimed to be a whistleblower. I did remove some content, but again also requested proof of identity and credentials before I continued the conversation further. When there was no response, I reasoned that these threatening e-mails were without legal merit and I began to republish some content. The issue that bothered me most was that Richards was acting on behalf of himself and not as PGSUK secretary. Richards had never confirmed his identity and so I decided to e-mail him at his PGS address, which I had remembered from the years we worked together in England. I received an auto-response from his e-mail which stated that he had resigned. (Usually, e-mails to PGS / PGSUK agents receive no response.) An auto-response e-mail provided contact information for the PGS EAME legal counsel, John Francas, who has become directly involved in these PGS Thai-UK-Norway legal issues centered around human rights and whistleblowing as a USA citizen working in England.
As alluded to, I am a USA citizen and was sponsored to work in England on a Tier 2 visa by PGSUK. PGSUK also sponsored my Thai national wife and dependent children. It is my belief that I was illegally terminated from employment with PGSUK through the use of a fraudulent settlement contract agreement supported by forged documentation for being a whistleblower. PGS / PGSUK actions have exploited my status as a foreign worker to escape accountability for their alleged criminal acts. This includes their devious way in which the criminal claims were delivered. Was it legal for PGS to share my personal (passport) data with the Thai legal firm so that they could stalk me and know my address and when I was departing Thailand? I see myself as both a victim of crimes perpetrated by company agents, notably the directors and former secretary who put forth the claims in Thailand, as well as a whistleblower. I have proclaimed this throughout many of my publications. This was also pointed out to Richards and his Thai legal counsel. Richards was PGSUK secretary when the e-mails from him, and later his Thai counsel, were received, even if Richards only wanted to act in his own best interest with his claim apart from PGS. The Confidentiality terms and conditions contained within the PGS UK Personnel Handbook, as well as the terms and conditions of the employment termination settlement contract, apply under the laws of England, where the contracts of employment and termination were both signed. The terms and conditions expressly protect whistleblowing, citing the UK Public Interests Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA). Beyond this, Pedersen was PGS General Counsel and a member of the Compliance Hotline Team, prior to his ascending to become PGS CEO and President. Pedersen should have a very thorough legal understanding of PIDA, as well as Norway’s Workers Environment Act (WEA), whistleblower protection laws. However, any such knowledge is not related to me through his actions or responses to queries. Were the claims brought forth in Thailand a breach in the Confidentiality terms and conditions under both the employment contract and subsequently signed employment termination settlement contract, both governed by English Law?
Despots prefer the friendship of the dog, who, unjustly mistreated and debased, still loves and serves the man who wronged him.Charles Fourier
It is a criminal offence in England and Wales for someone to harass you or put you in fear of violence. The law states that harassment is when a person behaves in a way which is intended to cause you distress or alarm. To be guilty of the offence of stalking the offender must, on at least two occasions, indulge in conduct that causes the victim harassment, alarm or distress.Peoplesafe Website
The complaints delivered in Thailand were a composite of several blog posts articles and image files, some published over a year before the delivery. The content was translated from English to Thai language. Any one of the published articles would have been breach of the Confidentiality terms and conditions within the two contracts signed by me and governed by the laws of England, if not for PIDA. In 2017, I began a Twitter™ whistleblowing campaign and created and tweeted several image files. Richards had mentioned that his LinkedIn photo was copy-righted. So, I did see this as a concern. The tweets, which often had images including portrait pictures, would either link images or the message to my personal website blogs or a Pinterest™ gallery. The Pinterest™ gallery would also have other images and links to the different blog post articles. My first blog post article that named names was, An American, the UK Data Protection Act, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) and the Tyranny of “Accurate Data” [3 July 2015]. Inspired by my October 2014 submission of a subject access request (SAR) to PGSUK citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). Through my SAR, I received the contents of my personnel file. My personnel file contained fake data. I complained about the contents vigorously. Settlement contracts are very binding. Even if three sets of crooked lawyers agree to illegally process fake data as real data, it seems to take an act from God to unbind any such agreement. On 22 December 2014, PGSUK sent me a letter and essentially stated that I was in breach of the settlement contract for not accepting fake and defamatory data as my true and accurate personal data, as DPA required. Several blog post articles later, PGSUK still never took action on any perceived breaches in the termination settlement contract. In 2014, Richards was PGSUK secretary and Pedersen was PGS General Counsel. They were both in the position to do so. But, in September 2018, the directors and former secretary filed two criminal defamation claims in Thailand? How can it be legal and compliant to simply bypass company policy and previous legally binding agreements under English law and instead rely on the unsynchronized laws of another country to take away the right under law and contract of protected public disclosure? Further, if Richards, PGSUK directors and PGS Compliance refused to authenticate that compliant processes and documents were used to affect my termination settlement agreement, then what legal basis or documentation supports legal criminal defamation claims in Thailand? The alleged criminal abusers are using every avenue, legal or otherwise, to silence their accuser.
Processing a subject access request should be pretty straight-forward and not so controversial. But, when the Company is uttering forged instruments that were used to process a termination settlement contract on false pretenses, it is problematic for all those directly involved in such a criminal conspiracy because it’s a serious crime. The settlement contract was proffered to me following the submission of a formal grievance complaining of being a target of bullying, harassment, and discrimination based on my nationality and Tier 2 visa status. I believed that the company performance management system was being ignored, along with UK labor laws. The company was trying to place me on a performance improvement plan (PIP) so that they could terminate me for cause. Looking back, accusations of breaking UK labor laws and health and safety concerns made within the contents of my grievance qualified as whistleblowing. In England, termination settlement contracts require the employee to engage a solicitor. Of course, as a foreign worker not completely familiar with English employment law, I knew that I needed such counsel. But, how did fake data that contradicted the data provided to my counsel get processed? The fake data supported a defamatory performance-based termination. How can a company simultaneously apply to renew the Tier 2 visa and place the same employee on a PIP? I do not think that is legal because foreign workers displace non-immigrant workers who themselves could also be trained to perform in the position. There must have been a conspiracy to process the fake data. My solicitor recommended an “enhanced” settlement contract agreement in lieu of proceeding through the Company procedures or legal processes. Of course, as a harassed foreign worker, I was receptive to leaving. However, I never agreed to the defamatory narrative. None of the documents relevant to the termination settlement contract bare my countersignature and contradict e-mail records.
It took me too long to realize that what made the termination settlement contract so binding was that all lawyers involved had to cooperate and agree on processing the fake data – or utter forged documents, which is a crime. I was gaslighted and defrauded by my own hired solicitor. (1) These claims have been published for some time now, as well. (2) Philip Landau remains silent, as do all the conspirators. (3) In 2016, following several accusatory blog publications and comments made in the PGS LinkedIn™ space, I also submitted another SAR and report to the PGS Compliance Hotline contacts. However, if there had been any non-compliant or illegal acts committed first in 2013, two of the PGS Compliance Hotline contacts, Terje Bjølseth, PGS SVP Global Human Resources, and Pedersen, would be directly implicated. The cover-up continued and I again wrote about it in a blog post article, The Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) Ambush Meeting and the Definition of Fraud (24 May 2016). This was actually the second blog post article where I presented evidence and made my case that PGS was processing fake data to support the termination settlement agreement. The first blog post article was, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) CEO Jon Erik Reinhardsen Should Resign II : A Bully Targets Reprise (20 September 2015). The titles of my publications alone could be a breach in the PGSUK Confidentiality terms, if not for PIDA. In 2016, I wanted to know if the articles had been read and if responsible individuals had viewed the contents of my personnel file and investigated. Apparently, nothing like this happened. PGS did not alter or question their personal data processing or provide any additional information to me beyond what was provided with the 2014 SAR, of which the provided contents of my personnel file was almost entirely disputed.
Loyalty is such a force for destruction because it readily clashes with genuine virtues such as honesty and fairness—all while seeing itself as superior to those virtues.Rob AsGHar, Loyalty Isn’t A Virtue, It’s The Enemy Of Workplace Ethics
Corruption in oil production – one of the world’s richest industries and one that touches us all through our reliance on petrol – fuels inequality, robs people of their basic needs and causes social unrest in some of the world’s poorest countries.UNAOIL: THE COMPANY THAT BRIBED THE WORLD
The General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR), which replaced DPA, came into full effect on 25 May 2018. Since many of the principals involved with the grievance were no longer with PGS, I decided to submit another SAR. Richards was now gone. Although, in hind sight, Richards should have been, and likely was, involved in forming the responses for both the 2014 SAR and 2016 SAR. I submitted the initial 2018 SAR request to Francas, and of course this first request was not answered. With GDPR, PGS appointed a Data Protection Officer, Daphne Bjerke. I communicated with her (office) to process my 2018 SAR. PGS Compliance Hotline contacts, Pedersen and Bjølseth, who were directly involved in the alleged crimes involving both my termination settlement contract and the 2014 SAR, would no longer be direct contacts and able to cover-up – so I hoped. This would be an integrity test for the DPO to see if DPO would do their job according to their legal responsibilities or shill for their leadership. I want to point out that I am the data subject. I know what happened, and I have e-mail evidence which supports my truthful narrative. Further, I have launched on a multi-year blog campaign stating my case and PGS has never once responded or commented on the queries embedded within the blog post articles. Eventually, I did get a response to my SAR from Francas. In my view, PGS once again failed the integrity test and never addressed the authentication issues around the defamatory data being processed in my name within my PGSUK personnel file, which have always been the central issue.
I did complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), again. However, this time I copied many people on my complaints and queries, in addition to the ICO caseworker. I copied Francas, Pedersen, Langseth, Bjerke, as well as new PGS UK Personnel Manager, Gareth Jones, and new PGS General Counsel, Lars Mysen on my complaint e-mails to ICO. I also copied (UK) ActionFraud (police). These e-mails never received a response, as well. I also published blog articles and began publishing the unanswered “open letters.” The 16 July 2018 SAR response also establishes PGS’ position that the terms and conditions of the termination settlement contract, signed 5 December 2013, is still in effect. This includes PIDA protections. While in the USA, I also published several “open letters” addressing the recently received claims and inquiring about their propriety, especially with regard to PIDA. I had ended my visit to the US early and returned to Thailand to address the criminal complaints. I never received any response to these e-mails / open letters! There was actually a tight time-frame to prepare which involved my having to also translate content from English to Thai language. The overwhelming majority of content used to form the complaint pre-dated the 16 July 2018 SAR response from Francas. This begs the question as to why PGS / PGSUK did not exercise on the “breaches” in the referenced 5 December 2013 termination settlement agreement?
PGS / PGSUK also never provided any evidence that the contents of my personnel file data had been authenticated. The complaints keyed in on phrases written and image files, but not the personnel file documents and e-mail records. PGS never conducted an investigation or provided results. So, how could the data which comprised the complaint be legal and compliant when it was the product of accused criminals under the laws of England and not legally verifiable and compliant processes? Defamation – the untruth of my base claims – was never legally determined or related to me prior to the criminal complaints being delivered in Thailand. Both the Thai law firm and Francas can only base their legal decisions on the integrity of the source data. Francas provided his SAR report without actually examining the personnel file data and establishing that legal processes and documentation were used to affect my termination settlement contract. I know this – because, I know. No blog campaign could endure so long if everything I wrote was untrue. The reason that the Thai claims were voluminous is because they were created by cutting and pasting from multiple articles and content over a span of several months and years. I have been asking for answers for a long time. Any one of the articles could have been a breach in the Confidentiality terms and conditions. Therefore, I cannot see how the criminal complaints put forth in Thailand by the directors and former secretary of PGSUK were legal, and further believe that they were a form of extortion/blackmail to silence an accuser and victim of crimes.
Blind belief in a authority is the greatest enemy of truth.Albert Einstein
Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It’s a constant struggle as to which one will win. And one cannot exist without the other.eric burdon
When I returned to Thailand from my shortened USA visit, I had to shop for criminal lawyers in a foreign country because the directors and former secretary of PGSUK did not want to answer simple questions in English by e-mail, but felt that translating pages of content from English to Thai language was a more effective and less expensive way to resolve their issue? Perhaps they thought a criminal trial of a former employee would improve the company reputation and show their values? There was not too much time to fully state my position in the Thai language. I prepared my defense to the claims regarding my published content. However, I am a person who considers process above content. I questioned the propriety of the claims and basis in process. Were the claims the product of legal and compliant processes? I translated previous threats of legal action, such as the 22 December 2014 letter, as well as the 16 July 2018 letter. Both of these letters representing the same company cited the terms and conditions of the 5 December 2013 termination settlement contract, which included PIDA provisions. I also had translated the Confidentiality clauses in the PGS UK Personnel Handbook and my termination settlement contract. And I translated information about PIDA and WEA. I also was preparing a defense of the substantive content of my publications and what they were based on. In Thailand, lawyer(s) for the claimants and defendant meet at a pretrial hearing to see if things can be worked-out without a trial. PGS proffered a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) settlement to drop criminal charges. This would save me attorney fees and provide a more certain outcome. I was advised by my lawyer and family to accept the terms of the NDA.
I agreed to sign the NDA. But, I believed then that it was overly limiting and had a very broad jurisdiction of enforcement in both Thailand and Houston, Texas! I thought it implausible that terms and conditions of a contract signed in Thailand could be easily enforced in the USA. But, I am no lawyer. I was told to remove all content that mentioned PGS or any of its agents. My Thai IP registered website had to be taken offline and any other social media accounts from Pinterest™ to Tumblr™ had to be cleansed. There was a period of time, I think it was 10-days, to firm the agreement. I was simply not happy with the limiting of my published content. My blogs were my voice for justice. I have always felt that I was the one who was violated and wronged. I believed that I was the victim of crimes perpetrated by PGS / PGSUK. I submitted my first report to UK ActionFraud (police) 24 August 2015. (PGS was made aware of this.) For some time, the ActionFraud report was also published online. During this acceptance and repentance period, I tested the NDA by blowing the whistle to a non-PGS entity. Some how, PGS was informed about it. PGS stated that this was a breach in the NDA and threatened to proceed with another criminal trial scheduled for 29 January 2019. At this point, I was becoming frustrated with my hired counsel. For some reason, my lawyers seem to forget or not advance the merits of my position and counsel to capitulate to PGS wishes.
Of course, this traumatized me and my family once again. In December 2018, I became a Thai Buddhist Monk for ten (10) days to gain merit and soothe the Thai side of my family especially. Becoming a monk in Thailand is a big deal, and while the circumstances that brought me to that place were not the best, the experience will be with me for a lifetime. However, while I was at the waht (temple), the Thai registered site was taken down completely. This was before any trial or examination of the content. PGS again decided not to proceed to criminal trial and I wrote two apology notes for my offensive content. However, time passed and I became more and more uncomfortable with the constraints on my published content. I read more about PIDA and discovered that the restrictions on published content was not enforceable. Similarly, WEA states that such agreements are illegal. This emboldened me to test the restrictions in the Thai NDA. That’s where we are now. I do not believe that directors of a UK company can enforce terms and conditions which restrict content. Defamation and unpleasant truths are very different things. I also read that what happened to me in Thailand seems to correlate with extortion. The criminal complaints in Thailand were totally unnecessary and mostly served to terrorize and silence accusations of director and former secretary wrong-doing, just as I had stated a year ago. John Francas has never scheduled a discussion, or answered any of my questions.
It is why we are so ambivalent about whistleblowers. Are not they really just whiners and malcontents? For if they are not, then the whistleblower reveals by contrast the cowardice of us all.Charles Frederick Alford, What Makes Whistleblowers So Threatening?
When I felt that my own professional and personal reputation had been defamed, I submitted a thorough formal grievance challenging the management of my employer directly to substantiate their orally and written aspersions. I am now a former employee. I am a USA citizen who was sponsored to live and work in England on a Tier 2 visa, along with my wife and dependent children. The Company that I worked for was an affiliate of a Norwegian Geo-Services company (NGS and NGSUK). When I tried to find redress through practicing my legal right under employment and contract law to initiate the grievance procedures (outlined within the UK Company Policy Handbook), this right was impeded through management’s conscious efforts to bypass the processes and laws governing my employment as a foreign worker. My rights were manipulated and denied and the health and safety of my family placed in danger through these same consciously violent acts. I was a foreign worker with no ties to the local community to find support. The Company and its Core Values is where I had placed my trust. But, this trust was betrayed categorically. The workplace was toxic and dehumanizing. When I finally did submit my workplace grievance, it pointed to multiple social and contractual breaches by the Company. But, I would not leave without defending my rights, dignity and reputation as a professional. I tried to follow the rules. My former employer presented me with an unprofessional, defamatory letter that contradicted most every rule of professionalism and civility. It was cowardly and an abuse of position. I responded to these aspersions upon my character and professionalism in the form of a grievance. Within my written grievance, I affirm:
Employer personnel files contain the documentation that is needed to provide an accurate view of an employee’s employment history. The documentation supports the employer’s decisions and must be of a legal standard to protect the employer in a potential lawsuit. Most employee personnel files will never be tested in this way. But, this is the standard and basis for maintaining such records. The personnel file contents demonstrate the employer’s rationale behind hiring, promotions, transfer, rewards and recognition, and termination decisions. Outcomes are the derivative of processes and are only valid to the extent that the processes followed legal and compliant practices as prescribed in policy which is guided by employment law. My grievance was grounded in the belief – no, my firm knowledge – that my personnel file data was intentionally defamatory and the byproduct non-compliant processes. However, rather than resolve the issue professionally in accordance to Company policy and procedures, my former employer decided to amplify the non-compliance and process – utter – knowingly defamatory forged documents which would be used to justify terminating the target of health-harming abusive behaviors on false pretenses. This would allow those with entrusted power to act irresponsibly and contrary to their duties to uphold policy and the law and most important, escape any accountability.
Ten months after I left England, I submitted a subject access request to NGSUK citing the UK Data Protection Act 1998. I discovered that defamatory and inaccurate personnel records populated my personnel file contents. This was done intentionally by NGSUK to create a false history of my employment which would obviously would harm me for future opportunities. This was the basis for my filing a grievance in the first place and why defamation was specifically an issue that was brought up. Another key issue brought up within my grievance document was that NGS Core Values were being ignored. NGS Core Values and NGS Code of Conduct are specifically mentioned within the terms and of my original employment contract. I knew that management had breached these terms and conditions through their deliberate and destructive decisions focused on me. I was a target of workplace gang-bullying, harassment and discrimination. My reliance on Core Values was of principal importance because of the fact that I was a USA citizen working in a foreign country guided by foreign laws. The Core Values represented the common understanding of how decisions would be determined. The UK Company also sponsored me on a Tier 2 visa. How could a UK Company legally sponsor a USA citizen whom they believed was a poor performer? The Tier 2 visa is designed for filling positions that cannot be easily filled by local talent.
The best way for an individual or company to maintain a stellar reputation, first and foremost, is to be proactive and ensure that one’s decisions are guided by ethical values. Enterprises must be principled and resolute about following such guidance. The UK Companies Act 2006 clearly establishes that directors and secretary (“directors”) have the fiduciary duty to protect the reputation of the company that they direct. Employee’s, present and former, are bound by contractual Confidentiality terms and conditions, such that they will not engage in activities and public disclosures that will negatively impact the business. This, of course, includes the Company’s reputation. The exception to any such public disclosures are protected disclosures, or whistleblowing. Such protected public disclosure is provided through the UK Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) and is specifically referenced within the NGSUK Policy Handbook.
At what point are such publications the fault of those charged with guarding the company reputation? Where was the proverbial “line in the sand” in terms of what disparaging commentary would be tolerated? The first and only official condemnation of my postings came in the form of a criminal complaint made by the NGSUK directors more than three years after my first blog post article naming names. Prior to being President and CEO, one of the directors of NGSUK was NGS General Counsel and Legal Compliance. I believe that he oversaw the creation and uttering of the forged documents which became “my accurate personal data.” This General Counsel ascended to be an Executive Vice President and then CEO, in spite of being highlighted as one of the perpetrators within in many published blog post articles. As a member of the Legal Compliance Team, several e-mails were directed to him and his team. All e-mails directed the Compliance Hotline were not answered at all. I did have some exchange with other compliance team members. Between April to September 2016, I complained to the Compliance Team on several occasions. I provided published blog article content and links for their consideration. The final blog article sent specifically to the attention of the Compliance Team and was titled The Crimes of <COMPANY CEO>.
Many of the same claims that were directed to prior CEO within my 2016 blog publications are repeated within future blog post articles, but the new CEO was the focused. My intention was to make sure that the same base complaints pronouncing the truth continued to be broadcast and considered relevant. I continued publishing content and expanding the recipients of my complaints because the many issues important to me were never acknowledged or resolved by parent company agents or, most notably, the directors of the UK affiliate.
If the UK affiliate directors were truly confident of their innocence, they would have invited such an investigation to exonerate themselves. This is what they should have done. An updated report was submitted to UK ActionFraud (police) accusing the directors of criminal behavior. This report was also published online my former website for some time. No one from the UK affiliate ever addressed or sought to clarify the accusations made or asked for the reports removal. Current publications implicate the same people as the articles published and forwarded to the Compliance Hotline in 2016. The CEO reneged on his duty to defend the reputation of the Company in 2016, as the e-mails below clearly show. So, who bares responsibility for damage to that reputation in 2018? The Companies Act 2006 states that it was always the responsibility of its directors.