Cult leader denies sex with teens

The Australian/August 7, 2004
By Peter Shadbolt

Self-styled seer and cult leader William Kamm appeared in a NSW court yesterday on charges he sexually assaulted two teenage followers allegedly selected to be among 12 so-called "queens" who would bear him children.

The 54-year-old founder of the Order of Saint Charbel doomsday cult, who goes by the name of Little Pebble, has pleaded not guilty to nine counts of sexual abuse.

Mr Kamm remained silent during his brief appearance at Wollongong District Court as his legal counsel sought permission to transfer the matter to Sydney.

The Crown raised no objections to having the highly publicised case tried before the NSW District Court. Judge Joe Phelan also consented.

The matter has been relisted to appear before the NSW District Court on August 12, when a trial date will be set.

Mr Kamm, who remains on bail, was arrested in August 2002.

The charges against him were brought by two former followers, now both in their 20s, who allege they became Mr Kamm's "queens" when they were aged 14 and 15 at his compound in Cambewarra, near Nowra on the NSW south coast.

In a statement previously tendered to the court, one of the girls said Mr Kamm "told me in letters that I was his spiritual wife and could not be with any other man".

The girl subsequently fell pregnant to Mr Kamm.

Mr Kamm, who was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1950, has reportedly worked variously as a debt collector, farm worker and bank employee.

He claims to have had his first divine vision when he was 18 and established the Order of St Charbel on a 10ha site in 1985.

Since then the order has grown to a community of about 200 adults and children.

The Vatican outlawed the so-called Catholic order two years ago.

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