Cult to continue despite leader's conviction
Followers of a doomsday cult based on the NSW south coast have vowed to "go forward" after their spiritual leader - known as the Little Pebble - was jailed on Friday for sex offences.
The Australian reports that renegade Bishop Malcolm Broussard, now the most senior member of The Order of St Charbel, issued a statement yesterday urging followers to remain at peace and assuring them that "the forces of evil" had not won.
Broussard, a Texan who uses the title bishop but was officially excommunicated from the Catholic Church in 2003, posted a message on the group's website saying "this community will continue to go forward".
William Kamm, known to followers as The Little Pebble, was jailed for up to five years for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl who lived in the sect's community in 1993.
He was found guilty in July of four counts of aggravated indecent assault and one of aggravated sexual intercourse.
Kamm's devotees believe he receives messages from the Virgin Mary and will be the last pope on earth. He molested the girl soon after he told her she had been chosen, at the direction of the Virgin Mary, to be his mystical wife.
Kamm and his followers believe he will have 12 queens and 72 princesses with whom he will father a divine tribe after the "end times".
Mr Broussard said: "It would seem, on the surface, that the dark forces of evil have won a victory, but it is not true."
The Catholic Church has outlawed the order. A school in the grounds of the community at Cambewarra, outside the south coast town of Nowra, is under investigation by the NSW Board of Studies.
Kamm's barrister Greg Stanton said his client would appeal against the conviction and the sentence.
Cult to continue despite leader's conviction (The Australian/news.com.au 17/10/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Website of the Little Pebble | Announcement by Bishop Malcolm Broussard (14 October 2005) regarding the Sentencing of the Little Pebble (16/10/05)
Federal cash for Little Pebble cult school (CathNews 3/8/04)
Little Pebble to face trial (CathNews 26/11/03)
Little Pebble disciple cleared of sex assault charges (13/2/03)
'Little Pebble' to face court next month on sex charges (5/11/02)
Church bans NSW South Coast cult 'miracle worker' (18/6/02)
Ridsdale faces (Warrnambool Standard/Ballarat Courier 14/10/05)
Cult leader jailed for sex with girl, 15 (Sydney Morning Herald 15/10/05)
Pebble jailing has not stopped community (The Age/Australian Associated Press 16/10/05)
Church Sex Abuse Complaints Said Ignored (The Guardian/Associated Press 12/10/05)
Church Sex Abuse Complaints Said Ignored (Leading the Charge 12/10/05)
Church's sins are a turn-off: Jensen (Sydney Morning Herald 11/10/05)
Church drops silence clause in sex payouts (The Australian 10/10/05)
17 Oct 2005