A former Google employee claims he was fired for denouncing a “spiritual organization” that had developed within the company.
A New York Times Article published this week detailed how a religious organization called Fellowship of Friends, which believes higher consciousness can be achieved through visual arts and culture, had evolved within a business unit within Google.
The Fellowship of Friends was founded by Robert Earl Burton in the 1970s and has around 1,500 members worldwide. It believes that its goal is to create a new civilization after a doomsday event. That NOW also reports that it believes most people move through a state of “wake-sleep,” but some can attain some form of enlightenment.
As many as 12 Fellowship members and close relatives work for the Google Developer Studio, which produces videos showcasing Google technology. Kevin Lloyd, who worked as a video producer at Google, said the company regularly bought wine from a winery owned by a member of the organization.
Mr. Lloyd filed his lawsuit in a California Superior Court in Silicon Valley, claiming he was told he could lose his job when he raised the issue of the organization funneling money from Google into the grant.
Of the 25 members of the GDS, Mr. Lloyd’s claims that about half were members of the community.
Reportedly, “Through his efforts at Google, which brought (and kept) other Fellowship members – directly or indirectly – on Google’s payroll, Mr. Lloyd’s manager gained status and praise in terms of increasing the funds flowing to the community.” so the lawsuit.
“We have longstanding employee and supplier policies to prevent discrimination and conflicts of interest, and we take them seriously,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement to the company NOW.
“It is unlawful to ask about the religious affiliation of anyone who works for us or our suppliers, but we will of course thoroughly investigate these claims for irregularities or improper contractual practices. If we find evidence of policy violations, we will take action.”
Google also claims that Mr. Lloyd was fired due to performance issues. The Fellowship of Friends did not reply that of the independent Please comment before publication.