Google is known for its close-knit – and sometimes secretive – company culture. But one would n’t suspect an actual cult running things behind the scenes.
Kevin Lloyd, a contractor for Google developer studio, alleges at least 12 members of an obscure religious sect work for GDS. Lloyd claims he was wrongly fired for calling out the group’s behavior and has filed a lawsuit against Google for wrongful termination, retaliation, emotional distress, and failure to protect him against discrimination.
The religious group in question is known as the fellowship of friends. The group has a compound spanning 1,200 acres in Oregon house, California.
Longtime fellowship member Peter lubbers leads GDS. He has brought on a number of other members, including video producer Gabe Pannell.
The Times’ report indicates fellowship members hold roles at Google’s company events,’taking photos, playing music, providing massages and serving wine’. Google also allegedly buys the wine served at these events from a winery run by a member of the fellowship.
The Times says it spoke with eight current and former Google employees, as well as looking at publicly available documents, including a list of fellowship members, event photos, and spreadsheets documenting event budgets.
The alphabet workers union (awu) has called out managers’ potential abuse of Google’s contract system in a thread on Twitter.
Google refutes Lloyd’s claims about discrimination at the company. He claims he was fired for performance issues shortly after complaining about the presence of the religious group.