Why I left Google

published May 07, 2023, last modified May 08, 2023

A long-overdue account.

Why I left Google

I have to say that I've never spoken about this openly on my blog.  I've been wanting to share my experience for a few years, but I never quite got the motivation to sit down and write about it.  Due to the false rumors generated by this nasty situation, that has changed today.

Simple fact:  I was not fired from Google.  I was not "encouraged to leave".  I was not even put on one of those Orwellian "performance improvement plans".

I resigned out of a matter of conscience.

Why would I resign?  I was making bank there — I personally benefited from not one, but two stock splits.  Isn't it crazy to give up that kind of dough?

Well.  Here goes.

First, some context.  You should know Google is fully cordycepted² by a decentralized gnostic cult, colloquially known as woke, with Maoist characteristics.  I think every living adult outside of the company — except those addled by the cult — is aware of this now.  But that was not so in 2014, when the woke disease really took off internally.  And so they successfully did at Google, as they have done in many businesses and spheres of society.

Let me be unusually frank here: back when I was at Google — much younger, and certainly more naive — I truly thought at the time that, if I focused on facts and I was kind to others, people at the company would have the decency to at least be tolerant, if not see things another way.  That was a foolish mistake — that is absolutely not how things work in a woke corporation, and if you think so, you will live in hell.  Ask me how I know.

Now, I'm going to omit the hundreds of stories I could tell.  Those are really interesting — in the sense of how it's fascinating to watch an organization go literally bonkers in the space of a few years — but they don't belong here, and others have written about that better after my departure.

I would like to share that I only left Google after years of internal harassment directed at me, including literal mentally ill lunatics publicly and baselessly calling me a Nazi (no, they were not disciplined by human resources) and false accusations raised to human resources against me (yes, I was disciplined for this and not even allowed to prove those slanderous claims to be false).  All of that started in 2014, and it came to a head in 2016.  And that's when I pulled the plug.

Here's my resignation letter:

Here's Google's acceptance of my resignation.  Note that they acknowledge my motives, even though they hold steady to the line that I'm wrong (and even that rejection is an artfully-concocted deception — but that's a story for another blog post):

Here is the farewell letter I sent to friends and posted to my circles in the internal social network.  This was in early 2016 — how prescient was that letter?  Note how I had already very much made up my mind that I did not subscribe to woke dogma, and that in retaliation for this stance woke people at Google had harassed me.  I've styled the quoted letter so you can scroll through it or skip it (it's long) if you choose:

Folks, friends, confidantes, colleagues and partners in crime:

I'm writing to say goodbye to Google.

First, I'd like to share that I've had a great time over the last two and a half years; I've learned a lot from all of you, and I carry with me quite a few memories that I won't forget.

It was not easy, and it took a long time, for me to come to this decision.  I have been unhappy for a while and, though I have tried to keep a positive perspective, not much has changed that would help me actually feel differently.  So much so, that on Monday last week, I felt simply too sick to even contemplate going to the office.  All I could think of, was quitting.

This is what I am doing today, and I explain why below.  I'll be searching for new opportunities here in Zürich over the course of the next weeks.  If you know of any, I'm certainly open to suggestions.

Finally, I don't mean this to be a goodbye to you.  While I have not had a chance to collect contact information from many of you, if you'd like to keep in touch, please write to me at <email nixed> (GPG fingerprint <nixed>).  A chat over beers and steaks, about anything Google or not, would be great as well.



Why Rudd-O is leaving.

One of the things I'm proud is that I was raised to speak up, and to be frank, with regards to ideas — good or bad — that I encounter in my life.  While I am by no means correct all the time — and, oh, how I would like to be, as that skill would be very useful in Vegas and Wall Street — I try to at least tell people what's on my mind — whenever and wherever there's a forum to discuss ideas that are important, ideas that shape how we live, and ideas that inform our ethics.  In all of my friendships and business dealings, I've tried to meet this bar that my education instilled on me, of honesty and sincerity, and of honoring the respect given to me by giving it back in return.  Consistent to this condition of mine, one of my fundamental needs within any environment that I frequent is to be afforded the opportunity to speak truthfully and honestly without reprisals.  I can say with confidence that I have had a chance to be frank to every single one of you, and I have enjoyed the privilege of frankness from you in return.  This is what makes friendships (and relationships in general) blossom, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I can't, however, extend this gratitude to Google as a whole.

Google has problems.

You might be thinking that I'm referring to the political bias and favoritism of many of its employees for the current U.S. administration.  Or perhaps its no-longer-secret dealings with Hillary Clinton's Department of State about the Benghazi videos.  Or its involvement in the clandestine PRISM program which, I'll be the first to admit, takes place only because Google remains under duress.

Those are not the problems I am referring to.

Google employs a few individuals (from rank-and-file to upper management) who are or have become highly ideological.  They have made it one of their ostensible missions to have the entire company conform to these ideologies.  Most of them believe that all of us — me and many others included — should not be permitted to impugn or question the ideologies they want to impose.

The ideologies that, over the course of the last years, have taken hold, are no secret.  Selective equalism, "social justice", "diversity" (always of external characteristics but never of viewpoints), regressive racialism and sexism, invisible privilege theory, grievance "feminism", anti-conservatism, anti-libertarianism, microaggression theory, disagreement as harassment, frivolous "phobias", "affirmative" (racist, really) action, and a decidedly hostile attitude to impartial or even marginal discussion of these ideas.  These toxic (not to mention wrong) ideologies of "political correctness"¹ cause people to atomize themselves into tribal affiliations based, not on attributes from reality or reasoned conclusions, but on allegiances to ideologies and artificial victimhoods.  This irrationalism have, in turn, caused within the company a series of moral panics with which quite a few Googlers are familiar.

Outside of Google, these ideologies have succeeded so wildly that, today, you can be disinvited from a talk and tarred as a hateful racist simply because you once pointed out that the African slave trade hundreds of years ago involved black people kidnapping and selling other black people, or fired and blackballed for making a donation to a political initiative that in fact was successful and popular just a few years ago.  In fact, I expect that at least one person would use this very paragraph to accuse me of being both a racist and a homophobe, falsely inferring motive and intent on my part, simply because I referred to these facts in this paragraph.  But to consider that an accident by a misguided yet well-meaning person, would be to miss the point — it is the whole point of the ideologue pushing for these ideologies to make it impossible to discuss the issues they want people not to discuss!  Since reality contradicts the ideologue, it is reality which must be suppressed, by hook or by crook.

Inside of Google, they are all too common as well.  Though I personally won't be naming names in this note, during these years many people (including me) have faced contempt, opprobium, insults, smears, provocations, threats of industry blacklisting, and even frivolous H.R. reports that influence my career (and many others'), in retaliation for voicing my mind.  The tone of this treatment was always particularly intense whenever I dared to question the set of ideologies that I found incorrect, toxic or divisive.  I have been slurred as a racist, a sexist and "privileged", in direct contradiction to the content of my thoughts, and in contempt of the tough things I have had to live through to get where I am.  I have had mean people interfere with a forum I was a part of, just to generate the false impression that people in the forum were bad individuals.  I have been directly ordered by senior management to "stop posting immediately" on a thread where I had managed to give other Googlers the impression that it was okay to discuss a common myth about free speech.  I've seen a person get banned from a mailing list, and their conduct characterized as "not welcome", for daring to disagree one time, and politely, with a premise of a discussion.  I've seen people bring up conclusively damning complaints to government agencies about this problem.  I've seen people quit.

So how Kafkaesque and totalitarian has the situation become at Google?

About a month ago, I was called to meet with H.R. as a result of someone filing a complaint about something I did not say, did not write, and do not believe.  And then, in what really defied the limits of audacity, I was asked in that meeting to apologize for that which I did not say!  Of course, I did no such thing... but that was the moment I changed my mind, from "Google has a big problem", to "even if I have to peel potatoes for a living, I really can't work here anymore."

There is without a doubt a systemic component to this degeneration of company culture.  The ideologues either occupy privileged positions in company management or receive support and encouragement from company management.  People like me, who oppose these ideologies, are silenced by management or 'coached" by H.R. to effectively shut up and focus on our work.  Conversely, people who proselytize these ideologies and actively alter company policy to legitimize them, are portrayed as virtuous and even rewarded professionally.  In fact, there appears to be a push towards making it mandatory for certain promotions to have been involved in proselytizing these ideologies.  All of you are extremely bright, so the outcome of this systemic bias ought to be a foregone conclusion to you.  Of course, there's also the external component to what Google as a corporation does, which has included (but doesn't stop at) front page Doodle support for a controversial Marxist terrorist sympathizer, as well as funding plus venue for events to give platforms to sexist and racialist hatemongerers and riot organizers.

Some folks might be tempted to dismiss these concerns by arguing that Google is but a workplace, where people come to work and not to "discuss politics", and therefore these concerns are not valid.  I would have no problem accepting that argument if such a standard was applied equitably and Google did not pick favorite ideologies.  But clearly the standard is not applied equitably, as these ruinous politics shape the workplace conditions that every employee and TVC experiences.  The result of this uneven standard is that partisans of the ideologies are very happy to work at Google, at the expense and at the detriment to the happiness of folks like me and many others.  Many others who, may I note, simply don't voice their concerns, because they fear retaliation and opprobium from colleagues bent on getting their own ideological theories put in practice at Google.

I'm not sure if I'm the only one who believed this, but when I began working at Google, I believed that Google was a unique place, where frank and honest discussion of any issue could be entertained, where data would often be used to settle the argument, people got respected right or wrong, and the value of open communication was cherished.  At the time, this impression made Google the superior choice of company to work for, much in the way that, for many folks, catered food is a great reason to work for Google.  Today, I feel defrauded; the reality is that discussion is allowed, but only insofar as everyone involved continues to look away from the Emperor's buttocks.  Point to his plump cheeks, and you'll get booed with the classic "Wrongthink!  Hateful!" in no time.

As the third rail has become fatter and fatter and harder to miss, many other Googlers — who remained silent because they had a substantive belief that there would be repercussions if they spoke up — already quit over this.  I, too, thought their decision was premature... but now they have proven to be correct.  And so, my time has come.



¹ Many group these ideologies under the term "political correctness".  That term gives people a wrong idea of where these ideas come from, or what they really are.  A more honest term is "cultural Marxism": a term that indicates how the Frankfurt School (née Institut für Sozialforschung) applied Marxist class analysis to cultural critiques — you may have noticed that Marxist class analysis is the common thread underlying all those ideologies.  Interestingly, the Frankfurt school disguises this fact by calling their work "critical theory".  From Marcuse's infamous "Tolerance of the intolerant" instigating people to be vitriously intolerant of anyone against these traditionally-leftist ideas, to modern academic noise about people resistant to adopt entirely made-up pronouns and animal-kin genders, the attack on basic philosophical truths from these wrong-headed modes of thinking against society has given no quarter.


A note on privacy:

I explicitly authorize you to share this with anyone you want.

Here is the recommendation letter they wrote for me.  Note the specificity of the praise directed at me, and the date, clearly after the events above:

I might write more about my stories at Google in the future.  For now, this will do.  Suffice it to say: while I am thankful for the opportunity to have learned from some of the best in the industry, in the end you can't teach me enough knowledge or pay me enough money to row on the same boat with destructive people who hate my guts and my values, and wish me ill— whether the silent majority around me is nice or not.


² Being 'Cordycepted' is when a person, group, or organization is taken over by outsiders, usually political activists, and their original culture, mission, or goals is replaced with the outsider's political culture, mission, or goals, often self-destructively.