Google worker says he was fired for blowing whistle on cult

A former Google video producer has sued the internet giant alleging he was unfairly fired for blowing the whistle on a religious sect that had all but taken over his business unit.

The lawsuit demands a jury trial and financial restitution for “religious discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation and related causes of action.” It alleges Peter Lubbers, director of the Google Developer Studio (GDS) film group in which 34-year-old plaintiff Kevin Lloyd worked, is not only a member of The Fellowship of Friends, the exec was influential in growing the studio into a team that, in essence, funneled money back to the fellowship.

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The Fellowship of Friends is a non-denominational religious group that believes spiritual enlightenment can be achieved through embracing art and culture. As noted in Lloyd’s court filing, the fellowship has been described as a California winemaker turned doomsday cult mired in allegations of sexual exploitation. Earlier lawsuits brought by others against the fellowship’s leader, former school teacher Robert Earl Burton, were settled out of court.

The sect typically collects 10 percent of its members’ income, and boasts it has as many as 600 of them at its compound in Oregon House, California, and some 1,500 members worldwide.

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