Folks in the Google management team have been having a hard time in recent weeks it appears. After battling reports that its AI has gone sentient, new reports have emerged accusing the management team of Google Developer Studio of involvement in a cult. Yes, you read that right. 

The accusation comes from Kevin Lloyd, a contractor fired to work as a video producer for the company’s Developer Studio (GDS). Lloyd alleges that at least 12 members of GDS are part of a religious sect and hold an “inappropriate level of influence over the work environment.” 

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He further claims to have been wrongly fired after calling out the group’s behaviour and has since filed a lawsuit against the tech giant for wrongful termination, retaliation, emotional distress, and failure to protect him against discrimination.

The cult in question is known as the Fellowship of Friends, which “believes higher consciousness can be achieved by embracing fine arts and culture.” But instead of being snooty wine connoisseurs critiquing art, the group is said to own a 1,200 acres property in Oregon House, California, which is rumoured to hold some “dark secrets.”

As per a New York Times article, members of the cult have a big part in running company events as well, “working registration desks, taking photographs, playing music, providing massages and serving wine.” The article also notes that Google has bought wine served at the mentioned events, from a winery run by a member of the cult. Additionally, the company allegedly also paid for a “state-of-the-art sound system installed in the Oregon House home of one Fellowship member who worked for the team as a sound designer.”

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Lloyd claims that when he pointed out the obvious influence the group had on the company, he was met with indifference and was shortly fired after. Google maintains that this step was taken due to performance-related issues. 

However, there has been a substantial amount of evidence supporting Lloyd’s claim, which was uncovered by The Times, after speaking with current employees and looking at publicly available documents. 

Lloyd himself has written a detailed Medium post on the matter which we recommend you check out. The story is still in development. We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.