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  • Jun 22, 2021
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  • Neon Hum Premieres “Smoke Screen: I Am Rama,” New Season of Investigative Documentary Podcast Series

Hosted by Journalist and Neon Hum Founder Jonathan Hirsch, New Series Dives Into the Story of Controversial Spiritual Teacher and Tech Entrepreneur Rama

First Two Episodes Available Now; Subscribe on Apple Podcasts to Listen Ad-Free

New York, NY – June 22, 2021 – Neon Hum, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment, today announced the debut of “Smoke Screen: I Am Rama,” the new season of its investigative documentary podcast series “Smoke Screen.” 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. 

Hirsch, the creator and host of the hit podcast “Dear Franklin Jones,” channels his own experience growing up in a “cult” to lend an extraordinary first-hand account to the narrative and provide context and learning opportunities within this new series. The first two episodes of “Smoke Screen: I Am Rama” are available now.

The ten-episode series takes listeners behind the scenes to understand how Rama built up a massive loyal following in the 80s and 90s as a practicing Buddhist teacher and lecturer. The podcast explores the pull of teachers and gurus and specifically why Rama’s teachings struck a powerful chord in so many people. Much like season one of “Smoke Screen,” “I Am Rama” is full of new discoveries and unsolved mysteries — this time, behind the story of Rama and his students.

“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.  Listeners can subscribe to “Smoke Screen: I Am Rama” on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. Subscribe to Smoke Screen: Uninterrupted on Apple Podcasts for ad-free listening. For more information on “Smoke Screen: I Am Rama” and all other Sony Podcast shows, follow @SonyPodcasts on Twitter and Instagram.

Neon Hum Premieres “Smoke Screen: I Am Rama,” New Season of Investigative Documentary Podcast Series

About Neon Hum

Neon Hum is a leading podcast production company founded by producer, reporter and sound designer Jonathan Hirsch. Based in Los Angeles, it specializes in narrative-driven, high production value, “audio first” documentaries, talk shows and partner content. In December 2019, Sony Music Entertainment announced a strategic investment in Neon Hum as part of a new creative partnership between the two companies to expand their development of original podcast content and launch a range of new shows across multiple genres.

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