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Google infiltrated by a cult? A former employee denounces a conspiracy

A sect is accused of having infiltrated Google. According to the testimony of a former employee, many members of the cult hold positions of responsibility within the company.

Kevin Lloyd, a former employee of Google Developer Studio (GDS), has just filed a complaint against the Mountain View giant. Hired as a producer within Google’s internal production company in 2017, he claims to have been fired for wanting to denounce the influence of a religious sect.

The 30-year-old accuses Google of wrongful dismissal, retaliation, discrimination and causing him serious emotional distress. He also filed a complaint against Advanced Systems Group (AGS), the temp agency that hired him on behalf of Google.

“I was fired from my team there in February 2021 because I raised the alarm about a cult within Google, a group called Fellowship of Friends”, relates Kevin Lloyd in an article published on Medium. Our colleagues from New York Times Could verify the complainant’s allegations by interviewing eight current and former Google employees.

Read also: Google thanks one of its engineers for claiming that its conversational AI is endowed with sensitivity

The Fellowship of Friends sect

According to Kevin Lloyd, 12 employees of Google Developer Studio are members of the cult. When he arrived at Google, the videographer realized that several of his colleagues came from the same small town: Oregon House. It is a small rural community in Yuba County, California. Later, he learned that the town was actually home to a cult.

Information about Fellowship of Friends (“Community of Friends” in French) are not lacking on the web. On the official website of the group, we learn that the community was founded by an individual called Robert Earl Burton, on January 1, 1970, in San Francisco. The sect claims to count 1,500 members and have 50 centers around the world.

The organization’s spiritual center in California includes “about 1,200 acres of pine-oak forest and meadows”. The site claims that 500 people live there. Members are required to pay 10% of their monthly income to the organization.

The sect is based on a philosophy called the Fourth Way. This doctrine offers its followers to reach a higher state of consciousness through Art. This is why the organization raised “works of art from around the world, including more than $11 million in Chinese antiquities”.

There is also a lot of information about the excesses of Robert Earl Burton and members of Fellowship of Friends. Jennings Brown, an American investigative journalist, notably devoted a podcast to his research on the subject of the sect. He discussed his findings in an interview with New York Post.
While interviewing former members, the journalist learned that the founder organizes rituals during which he tries to have sex with 1,000 different men. They accuse Robert Earl Burton ofsexual abuse, especially on the younger members of the cult. The former professor also demands that all women who become pregnant abort their child.

Contacted by the journalist, Charles Randall, a former member of the sect, affirms that the religion was only invented to cover up and justify the actions of Robert Earl Burton. The facts are also relayed by newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times where the San Francisco Chronicle.

Many members would work at Google

Google would maintain close ties with the community. Multiple members of the sect would occupy positions of responsibility within the company. According to information from New York Times, it would include Peter Lubbers, the current head of Google Developer Studio. Under his leadership, the production company hired several members of the sect.

The Silicon Valley giant would also have called on members of the sect and their relatives to organize events, such as the Google I/O. On those occasions, Google reportedly served wine produced by the organization’s own winery, Grant Marie. The firm would buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bottles every year.

“They even set up booths just to talk about their wine at these events – events like the Google I/O after-party and Android Summit, big events with thousands of guests”says Kevin Loyd.

the New York Times ensures that Google also paid for “install a state-of-the-art sound system” in the house of one of the members of the sect.

In his complaint, Kevin Lloyd explains that he asked his superior to take the matter to human resources. The manager told him advised not to noise one’s suspicions if he didn’t want to lose his job. At first, the videographer complied. Several months later, he returned to the charge, consumed by guilt.

“He asked me to shut up. He told me not to tell anyone. […] He reminded me again that if I complained about it, I could lose my job”says the former employee.

After this trade, Kevin Lloyd was fired. The 30-year-old is convinced that his superior orchestrated his dismissal in order to avoid a scandal. He asked the opinion of the union of workers of Alphabet, parent company of Google, on the question. On the advice of the unions, he hired a lawyer to file a complaint with the courts.

Google responds to accusations

the New York Times contacted Google as part of its investigation. The American Giant deny the facts and ensures to have “has long-standing employee and supplier policies in place to prevent discrimination and conflicts of interest, and we take them seriously.”

“It is against the law to ask for the religious affiliations of those who work for us or for our suppliers, but we will of course thoroughly investigate these allegations for any irregularities or improper contractual practices. If we find evidence of policy violations, we will take action,” Google says in a statement.

For his part, the head of Google Developer Studio explains that his “personal religious beliefs” come under his private life and “never played a role in hiring” of its collaborators. The lawsuit between Kevin Lloyd and Google is still ongoing.

Source :

New York Times



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