Current Google employee: 'Google is run like a religious cult'

Earlier I wrote about James Damore’s interview in which he described his experiences at Google after he authored a memo questioning some of the company’s diversity practices. This week Breitbart News has published several interviews with current and former Google employees who say the internal situation is even worse than Damore makes out.

Current Google employee Gordon (not his real name) tells Breitbart’s Allum Bokhari Google has become a cult of Social Justice Warriors, one that allows for no dissent:

“Google is run like a religious cult. Conform and carry out the rituals, and you’ll be rewarded and praised; ask any uncomfortable questions or offend the wrong people, and the threats and public shaming will be swift and ruthless. The religion in this case is a kind of intersectional feminism, its central tenets are Diversity and Inclusion, its demonic enemy is Bias, and its purifying rituals include humiliating forms of “training” that resemble Maoist struggle sessions.”

“This might sound crazy to a lot of your readers, but college students should understand, since it’s a similar culture.”

According to Gordon, efforts to terrorize employees over identity politics come from both managers and rank-and-file Googlers.

“The agitation ranges from very subtle (“it’s not OK,” “we cannot stand for this,” “these are shitty opinions”) to quite overt (“this is violently offensive,” “I will not tolerate,” “I could not in good conscience assign anyone to work with you”).”

Former Google engineer Emmett (also not his real name) says working at Google for those who are not SJW’s involves “constant abuse, sneers, insults, and smears from people who detest that you disagreed with them.” He names some of the specific managers who, he claims, have embraced SJW dogma and who have even suggested those who disagree could find themselves blacklisted “outside of Google“:

I remember engineering manager Adam Fletcher bragging about how (a) he’ll never work with people like me (which he refers to as “hostile voices”), and (b) how people like me were being blacklisted *outside of Google* (I assume because he and others like him were using gossip to coordinate industry-wide blacklists). Note that Adam’s position is widely-shared instead of reprimanded by management. Paul Cowan…also got away with posting comments in support of that.

I remember Colm Buckley…dismissing a well-written post by a colleague of mine, with the single sentence “Isn’t it nice to be white.” I also remember him being condescending to an employee who posted an innocuous message of skepticism about social justice. I should note that the employee Colm condescended to was eventually forced out of the company…

I remember Kim Burchett (high-ranking manager with a lot of reports) posting about how she’s “considering creating a list of people who make diversity difficult”. Two things you should know about her (okay, there’s tons, but two that stand out). First is commentary she posted on promotion committees, where she literally boos men and white people. Second is that, once upon a time, she had this epic Freudian slip, in which she accidentally wrote that terms like “diversity” and “unconscious bias” are actually stand-ins for “prejudice” and “white supremacist patriarchy”. Interesting, eh?

I remember Peter Goett entirely unironically posting a reply to a list with over 10,000 Googlers: “congratulations on your white penis.”

Finally, Breitbart interviewed a current Google employee (alias Hal) who also refers to claims of blacklisting employees who disagree with the company’s prevailing SJW culture. Hal says many of the activists make fighting the culture war their priority at work.

A lot of social justice activists essentially spend all day fighting the culture war, and get nothing done. The company has made it a point to hire more people like this. The diversity gospel has been woven into nearly everything the company does, to the point where senior leaders focus on diversity first and technology second. The companywide “Google Insider” emails used to talk about cool new tech, but now they’re entirely about social justice initiatives. Likewise, the weekly all-hands “TGIF” meetings used to focus on tech, but now they’re split about 50/50 between tech and identity politics signaling.

Asked how he copes with this given that he is not on board with the SJW approach, Hal tells Breitbart, “I always fear for my job and operate with the expectation that I will be purged unless something changes.”

This does sound a lot worse than what James Damore described, though his treatment is certainly in keeping with it. In his interview, Damore described senior managers stating that his memo was “harmful” and “unacceptable.” The reports of blacklists outside the company are especially worrisome. If true, this is creating a political litmus test for employment at the high end of the tech field. It will be interesting to see if anyone else covers this and whether the company makes any effort to respond to it.