Google plagued by a sect adept at art and sex? The story does not make everyone laugh

Louise Jean

June 21, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.



A strange lawsuit is going to take place at Google: an employee of the Google Developers platform claims that a religious sect exerts a disproportionate influence on the work environment of his unit.

Employee Kevin Loyd denounced the influence of the religious sect “Fellowship of Friends” in the Google Developers unit, following which he was fired. Now he is suing Google for wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation and psychological harm.

Chinese wine, art and antiques

The sect is called “Fellowship of Friends” or “Brotherhood of Friends”. It is a Californian organization created by the American Robert Earl Burton in 1970, which now has more than 1,500 members. A third of these are also housed around a huge villa in Oregon House, California. The group’s philosophy is based on the theory of personal development of the Fourth Way, and believes that a state of total consciousness can be achieved through knowledge of the fine arts.

Consequently, the organization collects art, including Chinese antiquities valued at $11 million, and stages operas, concerts and plays. In addition, the Fellowship of Friends has its own vineyard, the production of which has been regularly served at events at Google.

A cult would have its quarters at Google

At Google Developers Studio (GDS), 12 of the employees are members of the cult. The director of the unit is Peter Lubbers, a current member of the organization. Other followers are part of the life of the company, especially during events, where they take photos, play music or even offer massages. When employee Kevin Loyd complained about their ubiquity at GDS, he was fired.

This is not the first time the cult has been embroiled in justice. In 1984, young members of the organization filed charges against Burton for sexual harassment, and later, in 1996, another youth again filed charges against the man for inappropriate sexual conduct, when he was still a minor. . A Google spokeswoman said verifying employees’ religious identities is against company principles, but also said Kevin Loyd’s complaints would be taken seriously.

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Google fires an engineer after his disturbing discussion with an AI: she was afraid of being unplugged

Source : The New York Times

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