Illinois Man Charged With Threatening to Kill Scientology Leader

Robin Donina Serne/ St. Petersburg Times / PSG
David Miscavige

The suspect is being held in the Los Angeles jail in lieu of $600,000 bail.

An Illinois pleaded not guilty for allegedly threatening to kill Scientology leader David Miscavige and all followers of the church, according to court papers obtained by the Los Angeles Times

Andre Barkanov, 47, was charged with 12 felony counts of making criminal threats and one count of stalking for allegedly making phone calls to the main line of the Church of Scientology, saying he would kill Miscavige and "every single" member of the church, according to an affidavit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, The Times reported. 

Barkanov is being held in the Los Angeles jail in lieu of $600,000 bail, according to L.A. County sheriff's records.

The alleged calls Barkanov made ranged in duration from a few minutes to hours and began in July, according to documents cited by The Times

The caller is described as sounding "calm and collected" and saying "Thank you" before hanging up, The Times reported. During one call, Barkanov allegedly said: "Tell [Miscavige] that we have a bullet for his forehead. OK? Thank you," according to documents cited by the newspaper. 

Officials from the church reported the threats to police the day after the first calls were made. 

Barkanov was located and arrested in Wisconsin on Nov. 10, The Times reported. He was booked by L.A. authorities on Dec. 17, according to sheriff's records. He entered his plea the following day. 

His next court appearance is Jan. 12, according to sheriff's records.

A request for comment was not immediately returned by the Church of Scientology.

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