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George of the Miami Jungle
by Rayford Johnson
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“George of the Miami Jungle”

“My family was like the Cosby Show,” says George Beasley during our lengthy conversation. Silently, I’m thinking to myself, what makes a kid living a life close to the parallel of Theo Huxtable get into the wild life of drugs, women, and crime in the concrete jungle of Miami, Florida, and end up sentenced to a lengthy term in prison, so I asked him. Beasley answered the question and revealed that his “Cosby Show” family life began to rapidly dissipate after he turned age 11.

Beasley explained that a horse and dog racetrack was built in his community, which promoted gambling, or what Beasley referred to as “turmoil.” Both of Beasley’s parents became addicted to gambling at the racetrack. “ What parents don’t realize is that the decisions that they make, will determine the destiny of their kids”, said Beasley. At the age of 16, Beasley’s parents separated. Beasley shared that he became extremely rebellious after the separation of his parents, and he began taking drugs. He explained that he experienced a tremendous amount of social pressure from friends, and depression set in as a result of the peer pressure and the break up of his parents.

“After the separation of my parents, I sought attention from others who were hurting like me, and we became a gang. My drug use began to escalate to more serious drugs and then I got involved in illegal activity.” During this period, Beasley was in and out of juvenile hall. He stated that the money gave him power and that the women and the hype were very enticing. “I got involved in armed robbery, drug racketeering, grand theft larceny, illegal weapons, and auto theft. I began to see a lot friends dying;” however, Beasley says, “ I was motivated by madness, because the means met the end.”

At age 18, Beasley thought he had, had enough of the madness after getting into a physical altercation with his father. It was this incident, he says, that compelled him to join the army, get away, and attempt to change his destructive lifestyle. Unfortunately, Beasley says, “I took the same attitude and broken heart with me into the army, which resulted in me getting a court marshal for disciplinary action in basic training.” This court marshal was the first he had received. Later, Beasley was convicted of Grand Theft Larceny for stealing a large sum of money and served 38 days of a 6-month sentence in the military stockade.

When Beasley was released from the military stockade, he had turned 19. He was then retrained, reinstated into military status, and reassigned to Germany. “That’s when I really went wild. I used the United States Postal Service to transport illegal substances. I was selling to other military personnel of all ranks and cultures. Then I traveled to Paris, France and Amsterdam, Holland and throughout Europe on my off time. I went back to purchase a large amount of drugs in Miami and shipped it to Germany. I was snorting cocaine on the plane and getting high, and when I got to customs, they found my stash, in my hat. They let me go on my own recognizance, because I had a record as a good soldier for awards I had obtained. In actuality, I was just playing the game and working the system.”

The Playboy lifestyle came to an end for Beasley in January of 1982, when he was court marshaled for importation and possession of a controlled substance. He received a 10-year prison term in Leavenworth, Federal Prison; however, even with a lengthy prison term, he said the madness continued. “ I started dealing drugs in prison and had an altercation with one of the guards, so they gave me six (6) months in maximum security. Now I had a whole lot of time to think about life and what I wanted to do when I got out.”

When Beasley was on the streets of Miami, Florida, he stated that he always dressed nice. “I just came up with all types of designs for men and women. In prison, inmates locked down in maximum security were only allowed out of their cells for five (5) minutes a day, and those five (5) minutes were just to take a shower; no recreation time, or TV. My recreation was making clothing design on paper, and I knew one day I would be a designer and own my own clothing company.”

One day in maximum security, the guard said, “ Beasley, pack your bags. You’re a free man.” Beasley stated that he cursed the guard and said, “Don’t play with me man, I got time to do.” The man then showed Beasley the release papers, and he was now a free man with new opportunities. After doing only 18 months of a 10 year sentence, Beasley was free. The details of why he was released so early still remain a mystery to him. He just simply explains it as, favor from God. “I wanted to do right now that I was out, but I believed in order for me to get ahead, I had to do wrong, and I knew how to make the fast money.” The problem with knowing how to make fast money, explained Beasley, was that once a person gets caught up in making it, it’s almost impossible to stop. Beasley had once again started a negative cycle that could have potentially consumed him, but there was light at the end of the tunnel in the persona of a beautiful woman.

“The way I was able to stop was that I met a young lady who had just joined the Air Force. I fell in love with her immediately, so I pursued a relationship with her for a year and that was in June of 1983. In June of 1984, she got stationed in Sacramento, California; I followed her to Sacramento, and three (3) days later we were married. I had started a new life, and even though I had a new beautiful wife, I still had a broken heart, because of my past life and a bad mentality.”

“One day after work at Carls Jr., I was mad at the world. I went back to my apartment frustrated with my life and the things that were inside me. I turned the television on and there was a show on called the 700 Club, a Christian Television show, and two black men were on the show, Rosey Greer and Ben Kinchlow. They were talking about a man named Jesus and said “Jesus Christ can change your life!” I didn’t want to hear about that Christian junk, so I changed the channel. I was drawn back to that station and the host said, “You have tried drugs and alcohol. You have tried sex and other things, but you need to try Jesus.” I got angry and turned the channel again, but I felt something happening inside of me, so I turned back to the station and this time, Ben Kinchlow said, “You’ve been in prison, and now God wants to set you free!” I knew God was speaking to me then, because I wanted my life to be free. Free from all the things I had done in my past, so I repeated after the host by saying the sinner’s prayer, and I fell on my knees and cried like a baby. I cried uncontrollably, and when I stopped, I knew I was a changed man, because I asked Jesus Christ to forgive me of my sins and to come into my life.”

Beasley stated that after he got saved, he developed an intense hunger for God’s Word. He shared that he began to study God’s word and the more he studied, the hungrier he became. “Because I was a new baby in Christ, although I was a grown man, I began to grow spiritually strong. I realized the person I needed the most was always there, and I began to grow strong. I realized how powerful God’s word really was. I used to be a body builder in the military, and when I worked hard to build my natural muscles they grew. Now, as a baby Christian, I began to eat and drink God’s word and began to build my spiritual muscles.”

As Beasley began to flex his spiritual muscles, he testified that his wife saw such a drastic change in him that she gave her life to Christ within days of witnessing the change in him. They both joined a church, and one day, the Lord spoke to Beasley about preaching His word. October of 1984, Beasley preached his first sermon and answered the call God purposed for his life. Six (6) years later, Beasley received his first appointment as a youth pastor. Now Beasley has served 15 years in youth ministry, and is currently the youth and young adult pastor at Trinity Life Center in Sacramento, California.

Hold up, I thought, the ministry is an ultimate blessing, but what about his dream of becoming a clothing designer? Beasley informed me that he was still living out this dream. Being sold out for Christ didn’t mean he had to abandon the gift for designing that God blessed him with.

Beasley currently designs and makes many of his own suits, along with his wife’s. “Some of those designs that were on paper in 1982 while I was in prison, are now suits on hangers in my closet in 2003,” Beasley says. He founded R.A.Y.G. Unlimited, (Reaching A Young Generation) in 2000, and will have his new urban fall fashions ready by late December this year (2003). His fashions will be available for purchase on his website and in stores in California and Florida.

Beasley is yet serving the Lord and drawing our future leaders to the loving arms of Christ Jesus. The designs that are credited to him now not only include fashionable clothing but the fabric of young individual’s hearts; people that he is influencing to reach for their dreams as he has with Christ as their guide.

Minister Beasley is a highly sought after Evangelist and Youth Speaker, to inquire about scheduling him for a speaking engagement, email him at georgeb@tlcsac.org for additional information.

By Rayford L. Johnson
Author:"Thug Mentality Exposed"

Thug Mentality Exposed will take the reader on a raw and bold journey into the heart of the thug world through the eyes and experiences of a correctional counselor and photojournalist. Trends such as the hyphy, crunk, gangsta, goth and witchcraft movements among others are stealing the identities of ordinary kids and transforming them into hardened thugs through out America and many parts of the globe. These trends base themselves at the core of thug mentality and are ripping apart our society in ways that will forever change the social, moral, and financial foundations we have come to rely upon in our daily lives. Now is the time to educate ourselves on these deadly social issues that can drastically impact our loved ones. With this knowledge, we can begin healing by providing truth and hope to an expected at-risk population from being incarcerated or held bondage by powerful addictions which are leading many to an early grave.

Did you know that “pant saggin” actually started with male prostitutes in the prison system and that the word Thug actually derived from India out of a murderous religious cult? Johnson narrates for us the purpose, behaviors and attitudes of Thug Mentality and why our youth follow these patterns. He appropriates the needed lessons for humanity under the word of God to help sanctify those in need. Johnson, a Peace Officer for over 11 years, provides us with enlightenment for those who seek the counsel of professionals working with these at-risk youth.

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