8 episodes

In 2016, Danny Ray Johnson was elected to state office. The fast talking biker-preacher known as "The Pope" paints himself as a 9/11 hero. He says he raised the dead! But our seven month investigation uncovered a much different picture: Attempted arson. Another mysterious fire. Alleged bootlegging and molestation in the church. For years, Johnson broke laws. Now he helps make them. What happens when the institutions we rely on look the other way? How does a liar slip through the cracks into a position of power? This six-part series attempts to find out. From Louisville Public Media.

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    • News
    • 4.6 • 1K Ratings

In 2016, Danny Ray Johnson was elected to state office. The fast talking biker-preacher known as "The Pope" paints himself as a 9/11 hero. He says he raised the dead! But our seven month investigation uncovered a much different picture: Attempted arson. Another mysterious fire. Alleged bootlegging and molestation in the church. For years, Johnson broke laws. Now he helps make them. What happens when the institutions we rely on look the other way? How does a liar slip through the cracks into a position of power? This six-part series attempts to find out. From Louisville Public Media.

    Welcome To The Pope's House

    Welcome To The Pope's House

    Meet Danny Ray Johnson, Kentucky's fast-talking preacher-turned-politician who is known as the Pope. He paints himself as a 9/11 hero, healer of the sick and miracle maker. Behind this persona — cultivated, built up and fine-tuned over decades — is a web of lies and deception. A mysterious fire. Attempted arson and false testimony. Alleged molestation in his church.

    • 17 min
    From Bastrop To Bullitt

    From Bastrop To Bullitt

    Like Forrest Gump, "The Pope" just so happens to be in the front row, playing a pivotal role in America’s biggest moments. Time after time. Decade after decade. He's held some of the country's loftiest titles. Or not. In this episode, find out about his early days, his first brush with the law and his alligator. Yes, his alligator!

    • 23 min
    An Empire Built On Blind Faith

    An Empire Built On Blind Faith

    Go inside the Heart of Fire Church and meet the motorcycle-friendly congregation and gun choir. Check out the fellowship hall — or biker bar — and learn more about Johnson's dark past.

    • 19 min
    An Accusation Of Molestation

    An Accusation Of Molestation

    A teenage girl thought of Johnson as a second dad. Her family trusted the pastor. But in 2013, he allegedly molested her. Hear her story. And listen to Johnson's extraordinary response.

    • 15 min
    When Our Institutions Fail

    When Our Institutions Fail

    Over and over, there were warning signs for law enforcement, political leaders and others. What happens when the institutions we rely on look the other way? How does a liar slip through the cracks into a position of power?

    • 16 min
    The Pope's Wife

    The Pope's Wife

    We knew the story wasn't over at the end of the last chapter — but no one could've known what would happen next.

    • 16 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1K Ratings

1K Ratings

reisiroo ,

And that’s how local journalism is done

Congrats on ur work dismantling the unfair good ol boy network. I’m sad it ended this way but I’m glad the truth was known before other children got hurt.

wellbeingmomma ,

Very well done!!

Awesome hosts, great music, and I loved the recordings mixed with the storytelling. Really well written and produced. I hope to hear more like this soon.

MylissaR ,

Typical

The guy is awful. That’s a given. But so are biased journalists. The hypocrisy here is stunning.

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