Google is thought for its close-knit — and generally secretive — firm tradition, however one wouldn’t suspect an precise cult operating issues behind the scenes. Effectively, one Google contractor claims that’s precisely the case, as detailed on this uncommon report from The New York Instances.

Kevin Lloyd, a contractor employed to work as a video producer for Google Developer Studio (GDS), alleges at the least 12 members of an obscure non secular sect work for GDS and maintain an inappropriate stage of affect over the work setting. Lloyd claims he was wrongly fired for calling out the group’s conduct and has filed a lawsuit in opposition to Google and his contracting company ASG for wrongful termination, retaliation, emotional misery, and failure to guard him in opposition to discrimination.

The non secular group in query is named the Fellowship of Pals. Based on the Instances, the Fellowship “believes greater consciousness may be achieved by embracing advantageous arts and tradition” and has a compound spanning 1,200 acres in Oregon Home, California. The group has even change into the topic of an investigative Spotify podcast that guarantees to disclose its “darkish secrets and techniques.”

Longtime Fellowship member Peter Lubbers leads GDS and has introduced on quite a lot of different Fellowship members, together with video producer Gabe Pannell, the Instances notes.

However issues get even weirder than that — the Instances’ report signifies Fellowship members maintain roles at Google’s firm occasions, “working registration desks, taking images, taking part in music, offering massages and serving wine.” Google additionally allegedly buys the wine served at these occasions from a vineyard run by a member of the Fellowship. As well as, Lloyd’s go well with claims Google paid for a “state-of-the-art sound system put in within the Oregon Home dwelling of 1 Fellowship member who labored for the staff as a sound designer.”

The Instances says it corroborated a few of these allegations after talking with eight present and former Google workers, in addition to by taking a look at publicly accessible paperwork, together with an inventory of Fellowship members, occasion pictures, and spreadsheets documenting occasion budgets.

One other contractor, Erik Johanson, advised the Instances that Google’s partnership with ASG enabled the GDS staff to convey extra Fellowship members on board, as contractors are employed “with far much less scrutiny and a far much less rigorous on-boarding course of.” The Alphabet Staff Union (AWU) has additionally known as out managers’ potential abuse of Google’s contracting system in a thread on Twitter.

Lloyd’s complaints concerning the presence of the non secular group have been allegedly met with indifference — he claims he was fired with out purpose shortly after complaining. Google has responded by refuting Lloyd’s claims about discrimination on the firm and says he was fired for efficiency points.

If you wish to learn the complete story in additional element, it’s value trying out the report by The New York Instances. Lloyd has additionally put the expertise into his personal phrases, which you’ll find in his submit on Medium.

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