Former Members Reveal Shocking Details of Abuse Handed Out by Christian Assemblies International (CAI) Leader Scott Williams
By Indrani Bhattacharyya | July 29, 2014 4:07 PM EST
At the end of an investigation which took four long years, ABC News has found out painful details of incidents that used to take place within a NSW-based registered charity and religious group named Christian Assemblies International (CAI).
People work at the construction site of a Catholic church made of snow in the Bavarian village of Mitterfirmiansreut, near the German-Czech border, December 27, 2011.
Four Corners brought out the truth to show that the self-styled religious guru Pastor Scott Williams used his warped brand of evangelical Pentecostalism to run a secret homosexual sex ring while allegedly misusing enormous amount of member donations for personal purpose.
Heart wrenching true stories of abuse saw day light as former members decided to open up about the years of torment they went through at the hands of their 'cult leader'.
A young woman named Emily Wassmann shared the devastating experience of being born into and growing up in a twisted religious cult.
The women were mostly treated as slaves and suffered both physical and verbal abuse in the hands of male members. They were monitored at every step of life.
“According to the report by Four Corners,ABC News; Emily Wassmann's involvement in the CAI was predetermined before her birth, as her parents were both members of the 'church', and she described her childhood as a series of terrifying, confusing and lonely circumstances. But the most shocking account was from a man named Gunther Frantz whose former wife was beaten by other men. In front of a group of men, stripped down and she was beaten with a wooden stick while her husband wasn't present. She was pregnant at that time.”
Former members also complained of bizarre sexual rituals that used to get performed in secret by Mr Williams,who was known to be authorised by God to sidestep biblical commands against homosexuality and train his male member to be sexually obedient.
From the account given by former members, it is clear that extent of abuse ranged from spiritual, financial, verbal and physical abuse to sexual abuse of adult male members.
"According to the report by Daily Mail Australia, 'I haven't come across anything like it. Former members describe it as a cult. These people are so normal. Many weren't religious but they say they were preyed upon. So you can get an idea of how they were controlled, Four Corners reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna told ahead of the episode going to air on Monday night.”
It was found that Mr Williams left Australia 38 years back and converted hundreds of young innocent people to his religious group throughout Europe.
The present headquarters of CAI are in Coffs Harbour in northern NSW.
Meldrum-Hanna confirmed that the revelations were not only based on the testimony of former members, but plenty of documents and financial records collected from CAI were also there to support the evidences.
Former members also revealed that there was a 'mass exodus' in 2006.
Mr Williams, now 70, lives with his wife Ree in Coffs Harbour. It is one of the many properties he bought with church donations, sources claimed.
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