Rural Wisconsin Monks Sells Internet Business, Vacate Monastery

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
economic downturn and increased competition causes monks to liquidate their business

Staff Photos: Erin Evans
Father Gerard Gross points out the founding monks of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in a photograph on display at the new Monastic Heritage Center.

SPARTA, Wis. (AP) -- Monks who operated a multimillion dollar
Internet business in rural Wisconsin have sold their company and
belongings and have disbanded their small monastic community near the town of Sparta.

Just two years ago, the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank had projected sales of $3.5 million for LaserMonks Inc. But today, the monks' 15,000-square-foot home and 500 acres are for sale. The LaserMonks name and customer list have been sold to a California firm. Religious artifacts, furniture and farm equipment was sold at auction last month. And the few monks that remained at the abbey have gone their separate ways.

The abbey's attorney tells the Journal Sentinel the economic downturn and increased competition caused the monks to liquidate
the business, which sold laser printer inks and toners.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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