Leader of sect gets support from former members

Wisconsin State Journal/May 30, 2009

The properties involved in this lawsuit are the vestiges of Alan Bushey’s temporal realm. He faced three felony and two misdemeanor criminal charges, including hiding a corpse, but pleaded no contest last February to that count.

One felony - causing mental harm to a child - was dismissed. Another felony on the same charge was dismissed, but was read in to the record, as were the two misdemeanors for theft.

Sentencing is set for July 22.

The court record shows four letters of support, including two from Carol Newland, who lived at 5453 Shrine Road but now lives in New Lisbon. Newland, a retired state employee, wrote of Bushey’s support for the "New Era," and said she and other members were certain that "Alvina" (Middlesworth) and her "apparent death was a final test," that she would be "brought back" and all would "be off to the New Era, where God’s Will would be done at all times."

Newland wrote that, to Bushey, money was a "non-issue."

Another supporter, Sister Mary of Joseph Sumler, said she had known Bushey since 1997 and added that, with all he has lost, "he has suffered enough."

She also mentioned the death of Middlesworth in a letter, writing that "during the time we thought Sister Terese (Alvina) went to sleep, for what we considered waiting for her resurrection, there was absolutely no discussion between us to keep this a secret so that the money would continue to come in.

"We believed that she was going to come back and that was our focus," she wrote.

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