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Fellowship of Friends Religious Sect Infiltrates Google
Video Editor's Google Lawsuit Over Cult Influence at Work
I was in a cult that was founded in 1972, so the religious cult in this story has “my cult” beat. Formed in 1970, The Fellowship of Friends founder is Robert Earl Burton a previous Bay Area schoolteacher. The group's teachings lean on Fourth Way philosophy.
A 20th century Greek Armenian philosopher and one of his students believed a higher consciousness was possible and this fits into a new age category of religions. Many new age religions feel that certain behavior will usher in a new age. In this belief system they focus on art. The leader claims he had visits from famous artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Whitman etc. Forth Way believes that a higher consciousness will be accomplished through fine art. And they have 11 million worth of art just in ancient Chinese antiques. They also produce wine. Google buys wine for the department’s social and promotional events. Very curious.
From Fellowship of Friends’ website
The main spiritual center of the Fellowship, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California, is called Apollo. The property encompasses approximately 1200 acres of pine and oak forest and meadow, crowned by a vantage point that looks westward to the Sacramento Valley and eastward to the snow-capped High Sierras. For almost fifty years members have cleared and worked this land, gradually transforming nature’s wild terrain into a center for spiritual activity. Apollo is now a place of orchards and vineyards, fountains and gardens, as well as an international community of more than five hundred members.
Today the Fellowship has approximately 1,500 members and maintains over 50 centers in various countries around the world. Along with the aim of making its teachings and practices available in all parts of the world, the increase in the diversity of its membership has transformed the Fellowship into an international spiritual organization that recognizes and learns from each of the esoteric traditions throughout recorded time. The Fellowship of Friends is registered as a 501(c)(3) California non-profit church organization and is a member of the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC).
Now recently the religious cult has made the news in a lawsuit filed by a fired Google employee.
An excerpt from the Times reads: The New York Times corroborated many of the lawsuit’s claims through interviews with eight current and former employees of the Google business unit and examinations of publicly available information and other documents. These included a membership roster for the Fellowship of Friends, Google spreadsheets detailing event budgets and photos taken at these events.
The suit, which Mr. Lloyd filed in August in California Superior Court, accuses Google and ASG of violating a California employment law that protects workers against discrimination. It is in the discovery stage. Mr. Lloyd claimed he was fired last year because he complained about the influence of the religious sect.
Google Developer Studio (GDS) had as many as 12 cult members and relations were in the business unit and that seemed excessive to Floyd (34).
ASG is the company who assigned him to the unit as a contractor and is also in the suit. I bet he felt like the odd man out.
Members tithe 10% of their income, believe they are bringing a higher consciousness in humanity, follow a leader that is channeling dead famous artists, and have embedded themselves inside a Google.
Google said "If we find evidence of policy violations, we will take action.”
Dave Van Hoy, ASG’s president said “We continue to deny the plaintiff’s baseless allegations and expect to vindicate ourselves in court soon,” he added.
Sources: The New York Times
Source: All You Want to Know But Didn’t Think You Could Ask (Devega, Gaurkee)
Photo: Fellowship of Friends
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