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Swedenborgian Church Sues Two Top Leaders

Associated Press, USA
Mar. 14, 2004 • Monday March 15, 2004

BOSTON (AP) — The national Swedenborgian church is suing two top leaders of its former Boston affiliate, including the treasurer who has a criminal record and a mob past, for allegedly trying to command the affiliate’s finances.

The church, known as the General Convention of the New Jerusalem in the United States of America, filed a lawsuit in federal court earlier this month against treasurer Edward MacKenzie and Thomas J. Kennedy, the affiliate’s president.

The Boston affiliate severed ties from the national and state churches after a dispute last year involving its pastor’s family. It set up new bylaws, making it easier to join the affiliate and removing provisions that barred individuals from enriching themselves with church assets and requiring a two-thirds approval of members for sale of church property.

The lawsuit alleges MacKenzie and Kennedy are working to control the money matters by engaging in fraudulent loan transactions that involve the sale of church-owned apartments above the Beacon Hill chapel.

The 145-unit building is valued at $30 million but could be worth $75 million if converted to condominiums, according to the Boston Sunday Globe. Annual income generated by the building is more than $1.2 million, according to documents.

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