Smoke Screen: I Am Rama

By Neon Hum Media

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Category: Society & Culture

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Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 328
Reviews: 4

Gina
 Dec 31, 2020
Pretty good, but without warning you're in mid-advertisement. Literally, the host ends a sentence and within a breath you're confused about the crime obsessed podcast's connection to the case. FFS learn to edit.

ringarinrin
 Oct 7, 2020
Super interesting podcast!

kathy777
 Aug 25, 2020
Well done

Anna Fader
 Aug 20, 2020
What the HECK is wrong with your BLEEP button!? I am very offended by the language on the Fake Priest podcast by Alec Shuman. If you want your podcast listened to, warning people about the language so they turn it off is hardly the way.

Description

Rama was a spiritual teacher in the 80s and 90s who inspired many of his students while helming what many of his detractors would describe as a cult. He defied society’s archetypal vision of a New Age leader, eschewing minimalism for wealth and celebrity. He was also a man ahead of his time, encouraging his students to develop careers in computer science before that was mainstream. For some, following Rama's lead worked out spiritually, and financially too. But for others, Rama's actions contradicted his cool persona; some eventually came forward with accusations of abuse, others vanished, whistleblowers went to the media, and the group began to shrink and splinter. In this 10-part investigative series, Jonathan Hirsch explores the life, death and impact of Rama.

Episode Date
Chapter 6: Deprogramming
2698
Rama finds himself in the crosshairs of the Cult Awareness Network, a group dedicated to extricating people from what they consider to be cults by “deprogramming” them. But Rama’s students tell a much different story. I Am Rama is a Neon Hum Original podcast. Host and Executive Producer: Jonathan Hirsch Producer: Kate Mishkin Editor: Vikram Patel Executive Editor: Catherine Saint Louis Sound Designer: Scott Somerville Fact Checker: Justin Kloczko Production Manager: Sammi Allison Theme Song: Dolphin Dance, by Tangerine Dream. Other tracks in this episode are from Epidemic Sound and Blue Dot Sessions. You can find out more about this series and all the podcasts we produce at Neon Hum by visiting our website: Neonhum.com. You can also follow the show (@smokescreenpod) and Jonathan (@jonathanihirsch) on social media. For more information on this show and all other Sony Podcast shows, follow @SonyPodcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 20, 2021
Chapter 5: Brenda
2522
A young woman follows Rama to New York, and mysteriously vanishes, leaving behind many to wonder what happened. In this episode, people who knew and loved Brenda Kerber piece her story back together.  Contact White Plains Police Department I Am Rama is a Neon Hum Original podcast. Host and Executive Producer: Jonathan Hirsch Producer: Kate Mishkin Editor: Vikram Patel Executive Editor: Catherine Saint Louis Sound Designer: Scott Somerville Fact Checker: Justin Kloczko Production Manager: Sammi Allison Theme Song: Dolphin Dance, by Tangerine Dream. Other tracks in this episode are from Epidemic Sound and Blue Dot Sessions. You can find out more about this series and all the podcasts we produce at Neon Hum by visiting our website: Neonhum.com. You can also follow the show (@smokescreenpod) and Jonathan (@jonathanihirsch) on social media. For more information on this show and all other Sony Podcast shows, follow @SonyPodcasts.  If you have any information about the death of Brenda Kerber that wasn’t reflected in this episode, please contact the White Plains Police Department in New York at https://whiteplainspublicsafety.com/submit-a-tip/ or 914-422-6111.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 13, 2021
Chapter 4: Spiritual Contract
2845
Will Arntz is a man of many talents, from filmmaker to laser physicist. In this episode, Will relives the time he spent studying with Rama and how it changed his life.  I Am Rama is a Neon Hum Original podcast. Host and Executive Producer: Jonathan Hirsch Producer: Kate Mishkin Editor: Vikram Patel Executive Editor: Catherine Saint Louis Sound Designer: Scott Somerville Fact Checker: Justin Kloczko Production Manager: Sammi Allison Theme Song: Dolphin Dance, by Tangerine Dream. Other tracks in this episode are from Epidemic Sound and Blue Dot Sessions. You can find out more about this series and all the podcasts we produce at Neon Hum by visiting our website: Neonhum.com. You can also follow the show (@smokescreenpod) and Jonathan (@jonathanihirsch) on social media. For more information on this show and all other Sony Podcast shows, follow @SonyPodcasts.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 06, 2021
Chapter 3: California Dreaming
1924
Rama’s growth as a spiritual teacher in the mid-80s starts in California but takes him and his students all over the country. Rama defines his doctrine, turning his attention to the potential of the computer industry. But for his students, it’s not always easy to keep up with their teacher, or stay in his good graces.  I Am Rama is a Neon Hum Original podcast. Host and Executive Producer: Jonathan Hirsch Producer: Kate Mishkin Editor: Vikram Patel Executive Editor: Catherine Saint Louis Sound Designer: Scott Somerville Fact Checker: Justin Kloczko Production Manager: Sammi Allison Theme Song: Dolphin Dance, by Tangerine Dream. Other tracks in this episode are from Epidemic Sound and Blue Dot Sessions. You can find out more about this series and all the podcasts we produce at Neon Hum by visiting our website: Neonhum.com. You can also follow the show (@smokescreenpod) and Jonathan (@jonathanihirsch) on social media. For more information on this show and all other Sony Podcast shows, follow @SonyPodcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 29, 2021
Chapter 2: Becoming
1911
This episode follows Frederick Lenz III from his early days and education through his introduction to spiritualism with his mentor, Sri Chinmoy, at the dawn of the New Age. Young Freddie  becomes “Atmananda,” a recruiter for his mentor, until it becomes time to strike out on his own, as Zen Master Rama.  I Am Rama is a Neon Hum Original podcast. Host and Executive Producer: Jonathan Hirsch  Producer: Kate Mishkin   Editor: Vikram Patel  Executive Editor: Catherine Saint Louis  Sound Designer: Scott Somerville  Fact Checker: Justin Kloczko  Production Manager: Sammi Allison Theme Song: Dolphin Dance, by Tangerine Dream. Other tracks in this episode are from Epidemic Sound and Blue Dot Sessions. You can find out more about this series and all the podcasts we produce at Neon Hum by visiting our website: Neonhum.com. You can also follow the show (@smokescreenpod) and Jonathan (@jonathanihirsch) on social media. For more information on this show and all other Sony Podcast shows, follow @SonyPodcasts. If you want to know more about Rama’s early years, you can read more from the people who we interviewed for this episode. Liz Lewinson’s book is called “American Buddhist Rebel The Story of Rama, Dr. Frederick Lenz.” Mark Laxer's books is called “Take Me For a Ride, Coming of Age in a Destructive Cult.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 22, 2021
Chapter 1: Golden Light
2412
Rama was a man of many faces: teacher, tech entrepreneur, friend - and to some, a scam artist. This episode introduces Rama, examining the world from which he came, the way he shaped those who entered his orbit for better and for worse, and the mysterious circumstances around his demise.  I Am Rama is a Neon Hum original podcast.  Host and Executive Producer: Jonathan Hirsch Producer: Kate Mishkin Editor: Vikram Patel Executive Editor: Catherine Saint Louis Sound Designer: Scott Somerville Fact Checker: Justin Kloczko Production Manager: Sammi Allison Theme Song: Dolphin Dance, by Tangerine Dream. Other tracks in this episode are from Epidemic Sound and Blue Dot Sessions.  You can find out more about this series and all the podcasts we produce at Neon Hum by visiting our website: Neonhum.com.  You can also follow the show (@smokescreenpod) and Jonathan (@jonathanihirsch) on social media.  For more information on this show and all other Sony Podcast shows, follow @SonyPodcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 22, 2021
Coming Soon: I Am Rama
218
Rama was a spiritual teacher in the 80s and 90s who inspired many of his students while helming what many of his detractors would describe as a cult. He defied society’s archetypal vision of a New Age leader, eschewing minimalism for wealth and celebrity. He was also a man ahead of his time, encouraging his students to develop careers in computer science before that was mainstream. For some, following Rama's lead worked out spiritually, and financially too. But for others, Rama's actions contradicted his cool persona; some eventually came forward with accusations of abuse, others vanished, whistleblowers went to the media, and the group began to shrink and splinter.  In this 10-part investigative series, Jonathan Hirsch explores the life, death and impact of Rama. "I Am Rama" drops June 22.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 08, 2021
Introducing: Cheat!
477
Have you ever wondered about those people in life who don’t play by the rules? Maybe it was the person who looked over your shoulder in that exam. The person who got the job instead of you because they lied on their application or the nice fella on the phone who said he was from the bank and ended up taking all your money. We have a name for these people. We call them cheats. People who cheat the system, largescale cheats, social media cheats. We are fascinated by them. We read about them in paper. Or watch news stories about them on TV. We marvel at their rise and take a weird pleasure in their fall. But do we ever ask what makes these cheats actually do the bad things they do? What makes them cheat? From Somethin’ Else, makers of ‘Power: The Maxwells’ and ‘The Fault Line: Bush, Blair and Iraq’, hosted by storyteller Alzo Slade, ‘Cheat!’ tells the inside stories behind some of the biggest scandals in contemporary history and the flawed protagonists at their heart: controversial and contentious figures from the world of pop culture, business, sport, music, politics. Why do people cheat? Is it ever justifiable? And most importantly are cheats – these people we think of as the dregs of our society – actually not so different from ourselves? A Somethin' Else production. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 24, 2021
Introducing: The Vaping Fix
414
Two young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs set out to rid the world of smoking with an incredible new product. The device stands to disrupt the tobacco industry and make them rich, until it falls into the wrong hands and lives are ruined. From classrooms to hospitals, boardrooms to the Oval Office, what can be done to protect teenagers? And is it too late?  From Laura Beil, the reporter behind Dr Death and Bad Batch, comes The Vaping Fix, the inside story of the rise of Juul and the making of a crisis. Listen to THE VAPING FIX at: wondery.fm/VF_SmokeScreen Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 18, 2021
Introducing Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen
532
For the past 6 years, someone — or some group — has been terrorizing a certain class of Hollywood workers. Strivers — day players and physical trainers and make-up artists and security guards — receive a phone call or email offering the job of a lifetime. A key role on a major film, or TV show. This offer comes from a powerful woman — one of the biggest producers or studio executives in the industry. All these strivers have to do is get on a plane, for Jakarta, immediately. But when they land, there is no producer. There is no movie. It’s all a fraud. This is the incredible true story of one the longest and strangest cons in history. Tag along as two long-time journalists untangle the story of the Hollywood Con Queen scam, and embark upon an obsessive quest to figure out who’s behind it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 12, 2020
Episode 9: How To Get Away With Fraud
2505
Until now, Father Ryan has mostly escaped punishment for stealing money from followers under false pretenses. What would it take for him to face a jury of his peers? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 08, 2020
Episode 8: Origin Story
2481
Alex Schuman finally has his showdown with Father Ryan. But things don't go as planned because Father Ryan has something to confess about his past that sheds light on why he wanted to become a "priest" in the first place. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 01, 2020
Episode 7: Two Dead Priests
2005
In his autobiography, Father Ryan connects himself to two priests who died suspiciously. One he accuses of molesting children. The other? He says he teamed up with to publicly shame pedophile priests. What's the truth? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 24, 2020
Episode 6: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
2361
The father-daughter investigator team discovers the cop who arrested Father Ryan may have an ulterior motive. They defend Father Ryan tooth and nail - until they get a troubling surprise of their own. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 17, 2020
Introducing BROKEN: Seeking Justice
166
Investigative Reporter Julie K. Brown exposed Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes to the world. Now his survivors are fighting for the truth. This season, host Tara Palmeri follows the women who are making their own justice. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 16, 2020
Episode 5: Meet The Browns
2347
A sheriff deputy arrests Father Ryan for taking more than $70,000 from an elderly follower. It's looking like he might get 7 years in prison, but then he meets a father-daughter pair of private investigators who change everything. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 10, 2020
Episode 4: Llama Drama
2315
After Father Ryan steals a follower's money, her property and even her husband's ashes, she hires a lawyer. A legal battle ensues over unpaid loans and a herd of llamas that Father Ryan leaves high and dry. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 03, 2020
Episode 3: The Teacher
2277
Even con artists need mentors. Meet the false prophet who teaches Father Ryan how to perfect his con. Father Ryan evades criminal charges again and Alex learns about an unspoken reason prosecutors could let many criminals go free. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 27, 2020
Episode 2: Coming Home
2337
Alex tracks down Father Ryan’s son, Jonathan Brady, and discovers Father Ryan was a scammer and manipulator long before he wore a priestly robe. Turns out he had plenty of practice committing fraud before he opened his first church in Wisconsin.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 20, 2020
Episode 1: An Unholy Priest
2251
Investigative reporter Alex Schuman hears about a guy accused of swindling millions who has travelled the Midwest for decades pretending to be a priest. Alex starts his journey talking to two people who have long tried to expose the truth. Alex is hoping to finally figure out why anyone would try to pull off such an elaborate con. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 13, 2020
Smoke Screen: Fake Priest Trailer
135
For 30 years, a man claimed to be a priest. He performed baptisms and took confession. Every time he ran into trouble, Father Ryan would move on to another small Midwestern town and start his scheme all over again. Followers who once worshiped him, now accuse him of exploitation, fraud and abuse. In season one of Smoke Screen, join Alex Schuman as he unravels this con and gets answers from this white-collar criminal himself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 31, 2020