DiscoverSmoke Screen: Fake Priest
Smoke Screen: Fake Priest

Smoke Screen: Fake Priest

Author: Neon Hum Media

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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. Multiple prosecutors have charged him, but he’s never been imprisoned for his crimes. Investigative reporter Alex Schuman, who hails from a small Iowa town himself, set out to find out how Father Ryan got away with it for so long and why on earth he did it. Along the way, he discovers Father Ryan has connections to a murdered priest, a false prophet, and an entire subculture where he and other frauds can thrive. In season one of Smoke Screen, join Alex Schuman as he unravels this con and gets answers from this white-collar criminal himself. Listen to Smoke Screen: Season 1 Fake Priest, an all-new podcast from Neon Hum Media.
12 Episodes
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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.
Episode 1: An Unholy Priest

Episode 1: An Unholy Priest

2020-08-1332:05212

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.
Episode 2: Coming Home

Episode 2: Coming Home

2020-08-2036:0820

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.
Episode 3: The Teacher

Episode 3: The Teacher

2020-08-2734:0022

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.
Episode 4: Llama Drama

Episode 4: Llama Drama

2020-09-0333:358

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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Episode 8: Origin Story

Episode 8: Origin Story

2020-10-0139:064

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.
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?
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.
Comments (18)

Vicki Camacho

Excellent 💥💥💥💥💥

Oct 13th
Reply

Andrew Stimpson Gee

Also drop the ageist crap, anyone can be victimized. Look at the Browns it ain't cause they are old.

Oct 13th
Reply

Andrew Stimpson Gee

The Browns got what they deserved. I think it's ridiculous that you trust him about priest abuse and that he had a relationship with the police officer but the rest is lies. B.S. He is full of B.S. I don't believe anything from the snakes mouth.

Oct 13th
Reply

Zach Bartels

Great job, Alex! I hope to hear your next podcast in the future.

Oct 10th
Reply

April

I just want this son of a bitch to be confronted with his bullshit and put in jail.

Oct 8th
Reply

Tony Valle

I really enjoyed this podcast I appreciate the hard work you guys put into it keep up the good work 👍🏾

Oct 7th
Reply

Andrew Stimpson Gee

What a waste of an interview! Didn't ask about all the abuse at his hands just listened to his BS story.

Oct 3rd
Reply

Tellina Addison

Wily investigators John and Maria destroyed the cop's, Russ's, reputation, they accused him of being a dirty cop, and they made money off it. Nice. Y'all should have called that garbage out more.

Sep 23rd
Reply

April

poor Sheila.

Sep 21st
Reply

Andrew Stimpson Gee

the private investigator is scum, they only did the lawsuit so he could get paid.

Sep 18th
Reply

Br0wnie

Wow! What a fascinating true crime podcast. I can not wait to find out what happens.

Sep 10th
Reply

tony herron

kink k nc kook kyxjuncilnbkbkjvncln

Aug 28th
Reply

Mary Andrus

in C video. n da man o da da Zach r

Aug 25th
Reply

Justin Brown

Why aren't these weekly episodes?

Aug 25th
Reply

Kelly Bettencourt

SO INTERESTING! One 30-minute episode per week is not enough. Love it!

Aug 20th
Reply (1)

Max Johnson

I am hooked and we're only 1 episode into this series.

Aug 19th
Reply (1)
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