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Neon Hum, partnering with Sony Music Entertainment, released the first two episodes of the new season of their investigative documentary podcast series Smoke Screen. This season is called I Am Rama looking at the story of the controversial spiritual guru.
The podcast explores the incredible pull of a spiritual teacher known as Rama and the complications around his teachings that ultimately shaped the lives of his dedicated students. Hosted by journalist and Neon Hum founder Jonathan Hirsch, the series also explores Rama’s sudden death by suicide in 1998, and the complex legacy that he left behind.
Jonathan Hirsch, the creator, and host of the podcast Dear Franklin Jones channels his own experience growing up in a “cult” to lend a first-hand account to the 10-episode narrative of Rama, the Buddhist lecturer, and teacher who inspired many students but was also described as a cult leader and scam artist.
“This is, of course, a story that I am invested in personally, because of my family’s connection to Rama,” said Hirsch. “But it’s much more than that; as a documentarian, I am fascinated by the many mysteries that still linger years after Rama’s death. I’ve been surprised and captivated by how different the story of Rama and his students ended up being, as I learned more about who he was. I am excited to take listeners on this winding, eye-opening journey for the first time.”
The series is Executive Produced by Jonathan Hirsch, the producers are Kate Mishkin and Jonathan Hirsch, and the editor is Vikram Patel. Neon Hum’s Executive Editor is Catherine Saint Louis.
Chapters 1 and 2 out of 10 are available now.