The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best?

Thomas Sowell

A recent article by Sean Lyons explores the hidden forces that shape our world and undermine the integrity and accountability of corporations, governments, and civil society organisations. It discusses the various forms of clandestine influence that may impact global, international, national, and local organisations and groups. Lyons suggests that clandestine influence, which is the use of covert, deceptive, or unethical means to manipulate or influence others, may seriously threaten our planet’s governance, sustainability, and preservation. He proposes that the threat of clandestine influence can take the form of clandestine interference, extortion, or infiltration, which can be used to manipulate and exploit given situations for the benefit of special interest groups.

Clandestine activity typically extends power over others by promoting a specific agenda and influencing policies, decisions, events, and relations within these targeted parties. It tends to flourish when actors successfully exploit existing governance systems’ flaws, weaknesses, and deficiencies.

Lyons outlines various forms of red flags that can indicate evidence of clandestine influence and suggests that at least some (if not all) are currently present at global, international, and national levels to varying degrees.

Many of those in the know suggest that the following represent such red flags: 1) political shifts and polarisation, 2) social divisiveness, 3) diplomatic tensions, 4) media imbalance and information manipulation, 5) financial and economic coercion, and 6) deteriorating alliances.

The article also proposes solutions to combat these threats, such as strengthening oversight and supervision, more robust checks and balances in our governance systems, and enhancing transparency through complete disclosure and the full declaration of interests. It also suggests eliminating clandestine influence through continuous vigilance, healthy scepticism, and due diligence. However, Lyons also warns that it is essential to strike a healthy balance between defending against clandestine influence and safeguarding democratic principles and individual freedoms.

The article is relevant for anyone interested in understanding the complex and often hidden dynamics that affect our planet’s governance, sustainability, and preservation.


Clandestine Influence: A Threat to Corporate Governance, Planet Governance, and Planet Preservation? is a LinkedIn article written by Sean Lyons, the author of the influential book Corporate Defense and the Value Preservation Imperative. The article is based on research undertaken by Lyons as part of his work on the Preservation of Planet Earth (Project P.O.P.E.) initiative.