To: Rayford Johnson
My name is Thomas R. Smith from Positive Gentleman Inc. and I would like to say a few word’s about Thug Mentality Exposed. The Knowledge that I’ve learned was amazing because I started banging at 13 yrs old, but I was around it my whole life, I claimed East Coast 190 (South-Central Los Angeles), and was nick named “Lunatic”, I was living up to a false image of myself, and Thug Mentality Exposed helped me to realize that there is more going on than meets the eye, and it was the write fit for my organization (curriculum).
I am now the CEO of Positive Gentlemen Inc. and I plan on bringing this knowledge to everyone I come in contact with. So thank you for allowing me to be a part of this powerful movement to wake up those who choose to sleep. Positive Gentlemen is now on board and we hope to honor you guys up north well, with how we add the Positive G’s twist to it.
San Diego, California
“As a College Instructor on the subject of Modern Street Gangs, I have been blessed and proud to use this book as the textbook for my course. First, it deals with the subject in an honest presentation. Second, it hits firmly on the spiritual side of the gang issue, which is a side that many have missed. Third, it has plenty of scripture citations and examples, making it easy for pastors and youth ministers to follow. This book gets ‘best in show’ in my view. Know that a sequel is on its way. Ray Johnson is a great writer! You won’t be ashamed to add this to your street gang library!”
Mike Ramey/Certified Gang Specialist
“I read the sections from the young men in prison and I shivered. Their commitment to complete lawlessness is frightening. Your point, however, isn’t to scare people, but to wake us up. And you’ve certainly done that. Someone reading this book WILL intercede in the life of someone they know who is beginning to walk down the path to destruction and any struggle you experienced in getting it done will be well worth it. Your commitment to giving these young people something to think about, in hopes that they will adopt more positive outlooks on life is to be commended. So many folks, their own families in some cases, have simply written them off as lost causes.”
Genoa Barrow, Senior Staff Writer,
The Sacramento Observer
Dear Mr. Johnson,
I would like to thank you very much for what you have taught me through your words in your book ‘Thug Mentality Exposed’. I first read it when I was incarcerated in sac county jail. Your book was the best book in the whole pod I was in. When I heard that you worked in their I had to meet you in person. I am out now and working one job part time and pursuing a career I will retire from someday of coarse god willing that’s what is meant for me. Your words of wisdom and advice helped me and lots of others that were incarcerated in my pod and im positive they help everyone that reads them. From when you gave me my own copy I have passed it to numerous people that I have come across in my life whether it be cellies, family, or friends that needed positive advice or a structured path they have went down to get where they were. The most memorable advice I heard and always share is “the people you hangout with and place in your life are the image of you. bums don’t hangout with millionaires and millionaires don’t hangout with bums” (wont be exact but that’s how I remember and share it) you have created a positive road map or foundation for my life through your encouraging words and stories. what you do for everyone is great and god will continue to build what you do. this creates a foundation on the rock for those who placed their foundation in the sand. I could go on and on about how grateful I am for reading your book but in a one word description it is a blessing. Much thanks Mr. Johnson god bless you and your ministry.
“I WANNA SAY THANK YOU RAYFORD FOR THE B.E.A.R MODULE, I USED IT IN SCHOOL TODAY AND ONE OF MY YOUTH ASKED ME AFTER CLASS IF HE COULD SEE THIS AGAIN, I SAID SURE! WHAT WAS IT YOU LIKED ABOUT IT? HE SAID TO ME, HOW TO BELIEVE ABOUT HIMSELF!”
Youth for Christ/Point Break
Stockton, CA, Substance Abuse Counselor
Dear Rayford L. Johnson
I’m writing to let you know I really enjoyed your book. A young man from Sac. Co. Jail. By the name of O—— ——-. Who you visited when his mom died. He has said nothing but praise about you and your book. So he encouraged me to write and get your book and I did. I was very pleased I did. Even though I’m 52 yrs. old I felt the book related to when I was young and up until now. All ways chasing the fast money. So that’s why I’m doing the rest of my life incarcerated, with a life sentencing for 3-strikes.
After reading this book I have told many of inmates of your book and gave them to write you for there own book I am in a Psych program called E.O.P. and I told all 3 of my doctors to send for the book. Because your book deals with all 3 of there classes. So you should be getting book requests from 3 doctors.
Hi Rayford Johnson
My name is Laura, I got a hold of your book at Sac. county jail in Sacramento and when I got transferred to R.C.C.C.I took one of you books with me to share it over here.
When I got here it was different for tripping. But the girls made me feel more as ease and I started making new friends so I started to show your book of off to the girls, and sooner than i new it everyone wanted to read your book, and I haven’t even finished reading it my self.
So I thought if I wrote you to ask you if you could bring some books to us that I could pass out your message that your trying to reach out to people that have so much time on their hands to really hear you out.
Theirs 3 other areas here that have females but I’m in kinya and theirs the mens side and I’m not sure how thats set up over their, but I would really be thankful if you could bring some books her to R.C.C.C please.
Thank you for your time and I hope you can do that I’ll be praying everyday to hope to hear from you or get some books to R.C.C.C. from you.
Your New Friend
Mr. Rayford L. Johnson or Dr. “Thug Exposed” 1/1/14
First and for most I extended my up most love and respect to you in full! Well, I’m sending you this letter to compliment you on your book “Thug Mentality Exposed.” It opened my eyes to a lot of things I was doing wrong in my walk of faith and hope with our Lord, “Jesus Christ.” So, Thank you!
Hi my name is Teri I’m currently on inmate at Sac County and heard good things about your book Thug. I saw you come sign them but didn’t have a kite in soon enough but i would love a copy for myself please! I’m outta here Sat Dec 21st If I could still get 1 that would be awesome. Please also my roommate would like 1 two her name is H—— we are in 7w—3.
County Jail Message Request
Hi there could I please have a copy of your “Thug Mentality Exposed”, this is a real deep and truly written book we are using it for Bible Study.
Stephanie Samsel/ State Hornet-Book Reviews
California State University, Sacramento Dated: 4/10/08 “Book tells story of the thug life” “Thug Mentality Exposed” by Rayford L. Johnson gives an in-depth look at the culture and mindset of gang members or those living the thug lifestyle, using research and prose from wards in youth prison that have or are in gangs. The writings of the youth prisoners give us a very intimate look at the mentality of gang members and thugs, and give examples of some of the violent and disturbing things they have done in association with their gangs. The book also gives us examples of what some thugs think of women and their lifestyles. Johnson is able to give us such an accurate and informative depiction because he has been a correctional counselor for the Department of Corrections for the past 11 years. Johnson deals with gang members on a daily basis, so he has a first-hand look at how gang members and thugs think and act. Johnson also offers a correlation between thug culture and ancient Babylonian Pagan cults, which is interesting because there are very distinct similarities between the two. Some examples of what thug culture and ancient pagan cults share are drugs, tattooing, musical worship and cursing. There are some parts of the books that are just shocking and heartbreaking. Johnson tells the reader about how pit bulls are the dogs of choice for thugs, because the dogs are friendly, but can be turned into killing machines. It was heart-breaking to learn that some thugs murder their pooches because the dog had lost a dog fight and lost their owner money. The book also gives us a look at the background behind some popular gang and thug activities, like tattooing and cursing. For instance, tattooing in ancient times was a way for some to open their souls up to demons, or to protect themselves from sickness. Johnson writes that these days, tattoos are used by thugs to intimidate and put fear into people. He also tells us that cursing is Satan’s way of subtracting life from us for each curse word used. The final part of the book offers up a solution for the thug lifestyle, and a way to revamp your life. Some of the advice given is to seek God and the teachings of the Bible to improve you, the reader, and thugs to get out of the thug mentality and lifestyle. One of the things that detracts from the book is that Johnson seems to identify any religion other than Christianity or religion centered on God as “pagan” or the “occult.” Examples of these religions are typically Eastern ones, like Taoism and Hinduism, and also religions that are already thought as dark, such as witchcraft. The book can be very informative to those who are curious about the history of gangs and thugs, as long as the reader doesn’t mind being preached to about the Bible, God and some aspects of popular culture that are deemed as evil and sinful. Examples of those aspects are tattoos, rock and rap music, and video games. This book is a great read for someone who has an interest in the inner workings of the mind of a thug or gang member.
Dr. Melanie A. Lewis, English Professor
Cosumnes River College- Sacramento, California Provocative, intriguing, compelling, riveting! In Thug Mentality Exposed, Rayford L. Johnson engages his audience in the historical and cultural relevance of America’s “taboo” subculture and unearths disturbing yet significant patterns of lifestyle acceptance worthy of much critical discourse and necessary in our understanding of this important, yet ostracized, criticized, and often misunderstood, “mentality.”
Thank you so much for the useful information God Almighty used you to bring to us on 10.28.2008. It was a day 1 Genesis experience. You definitely separated the Darkness from the light. Many of our clients are without form, and void; and darkness [is] upon their face. Your ministry brought the Spirit of God to move upon the face of them and they had a translation from darkness to light experience. [Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:] In the name of yeshua hamashia Thank you, be blessed as you bless others.
James A. Mc Farland Director of Education Hope,Help & Healing Auburn, CA CAS-Counselor
Live Broadcast October 30, 2007 97.7FM KDEE FM/lp or Kdeefm.org California Black Chamber of Commerce Denise McCoy-Sales & Marketing Coordinator Ray, Congratulations on the release of your new book! I was great having you at the station to talk live about Thug Mentality Exposed. Thank you for your fearless project and bravery. Not many people are taking such an active role in trying to save our future-youth. Be blessed on all sides and we look forward to working with you again. Best Regards, Denise
Mike Ramey-Certified Gang Specialist/Former Probation Officer Indianapolis, Indiana Ray, you have been blessed with the gift in writing your book. I am just amazed that you haven’t gotten much more play of it. I’ll do my best at this end to get the word out. Mike Ramey.
Lt. Terry Lewis-Academy Trainer-California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
“I just finished reading your book. I liked it, you are truly anointed with wisdom and insight.”
Evangelist Alfred and Latrece Walker Enrichment Powerment Ministries
Ray, Your book will open the eyes of people who have no idea of what you deal with each day with the wards you supervise. I truly respect your commitment to your job and your ability to see and fulfill the calling on your life to reach a generation of youth who have no redemptive vision. I believe your book will make a difference in the lives of those who read it, motivating them to get involved in their area of influence. My prayers for you and your family are now more focused now that I know the intensity of your job and ministry. May you always walk in that calm and confidant spirit, making a difference? Have a wonderful day and, Be blessed.
UC Davis, Professor Miroslava Chavez-Garcia
Letter of Recommendation for Mr. Rayford Johnson Mr. Rayford Johnson is a man of many talents. He is not only a youth counselor working at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation but also an ordained minister, published author, photographer, and cultural critic. For these reasons, in March of 2008, I invited Mr. Johnson to give a lecture to my undergraduate class, ³Race and Juvenile Justice,² which I taught at UC Davis in the winter of 2008, on his experiences in working with youth of color. In response, Mr. Johnson provided a stimulating and interactive presentation on the role of the media music in particular and its influence on young people today. His presentation consisted of lecture, music video and audio clips, and a short documentary/dramatization (produced by Mr. Johnson and several inmates) of life inside juvenile corrections. Overall students enjoyed his presentation and perspective and appreciated Mr. Johnson¹s style of speaking. Most found him to be engaging and accessible. Others praised his ability to speak to issues that are relevant to them and that affect them on a daily basis. Though he is a preacher, they did not sense he was “preaching” to them but rather showing them an alternative way in which to view the role of media in young people¹s lives. Ultimately, they gained significant insight on a topic few had really considered relevant to their lives. Like the students, I also came away with a greater appreciation of youth of color and some of the challenges they face in and outside the correctional system. I believe it is important to have people such as Mr. Johnson talk about the kind of work that they do and to show others a world largely unknown to the average citizen about youth and corrections today. His insight and experience is extremely valuable if we desire to have real change in the lives of young people today and in the larger society. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you. Sincerely,
Miroslava Chavez-Garcia Associate Professor, UC Davis
Solano Middle School-Vallejo, California
To Whom it May Concern, I am writing this letter on behalf of Rayford Johnson. Ray has been a speaker at our school numerous times. We incorporated Ray¹s Speaking into our Life Skills unit, as well as, having him speak at an assembly. Ray has a very captivating speaking style, which kept our middle school students attentive and interested. Ray uses his experience with incarcerated youth and an outstanding Power Point presentation to deliver his message. Ray spoke about the influence of media and music on our youth and how it affects their life choices. Ray illustrated that when youth are constantly exposed to negative images in music and videos, they are more prone to make negative choices. Ray exposed the subliminal messages of Hip-Hop music and demonstrated how to rise above them. Ray is always a welcome guest at our school. He presents a positive and spiritually uplifting message to the students. I would highly recommend Ray Johnson as a future speaker at our school or any other venue where teens are involved. Sincerely,
Steven Boche Solano Middle School P.E. Department Chairman Athletic Director
Kaplan College October 23, 2008 To: Whom It May Concern: It is indeed a pleasure to recommend Mr. Rayford Johnson. As the author of Thug Mentality Exposed is has wonderful credentials to discuss the influence of gangs in America. As a Youth Corrections Counselor is clearly has a caring attitude about the information he conveys to the audience. We had the pleasure of his company on October 14, 2008 for a series of seminars and lectures on the topic of the history of gangs and their base in world culture. The students were thoroughly engaged in the content of his presentations and his choice of various modalities of instruction kept even the most easily distracted students engaged. I highly recommend his presentation for age groups 12-82. His topic has relevance for all of us. If you have further questions regarding his qualifications please contact me. Sincerely, John W. Graham Director of Student Services Kaplan College-Sacramento
Terry Moore/Poet Nominated by the Los Angeles Black Music Awards in 2004 for ³Best Spoken Word Performer² “This book is very compelling. The stories in the book are gripping and shocking! When I first picked up the book my intention was simply to read a chapter or two. But once I dipped into the depth of it it was over. The few pictures in the book are more than enough and are as powerful as the stories. The book is revealing yet at the same time spiritual and healing. Perfect timing for today’s “Hyphy” movement. The stories and comments from interviews with prison wards and gang members are riveting and educating! One of my favorite parts of the book is 7 Steps to Overcoming Hostile and Impulsive Emotions. Thug Mentality Exposed surprised me in a good way. From the sexual issues to the effects of marijuana smoking to the sorrow of incarceration to the questions of whether the thug culture promotes homosexuality to looking at females as a piece of meat to the consequence of sin to attire to profanity to tats and so much more. So much covered, explained, put out there. Rayford L. Johnson did a fabulous job writing this book “I highly recommend it and hope that many will partake in the reading of it.”
Judy Wilson/Store Manager-Berean Christian Book Stores
Thug Mentality Exposed by Rayford Johnson was a highly successful book signing event for Berean Christian Store in Sacramento. People were stopping by and talking with Rayford and buy books. We had put the books out early before the signing and ended up almost selling out before the event. We had to call another bookstore in the downtown area to get books from them for the event and ended up selling most of those. This was a great event and the books are asked for by layman and pastors. We have customers who have heard of the book and have family in this lifestyle and want a copy to help them understand and to help them help there family members. Rayford has done a great job in opening up the thug mentality to the lay person so we can better help them and understand them. I look forward to doing another signing with Rayford in the future.
Simeon Gant, California Legislative Consultant
“Thug Mentality Exposed is a much-needed journal, in a time when our youth continue to spiral in the wrong direction; downward. This book may very well encourage young people and old to steer their lives in a different direction; upward.”
Anonymous Parent-Email “I’ve always known what my heart and spirit has been telling me all along but your book has finally validated my concerns and I hope others will take what you share to heart and think about what their young kids are getting into and get involved more in their lives.
” Reader’s-Email “After reading your book, I realized I was living a triple life ( I think…or at least a double). I went to church on Sunday and sing in the church choir… and then rest of the week, I was indulging in other things to trying to make up for what I felt I didn’t have while going to school pretending to be so smart and ” Miss Goody-two-shoes” while being really dumb and bad all along. I went weeks without touching my bible…it sat in the trunk of my car with shoes and other whatnots. I thought that as long as I went to church and was on the worship team that I was fine…but I was not fine. The director spoke of spirtual warfare but I was like “what is that?” Devil can’t harm me, I’m a child of God…im koo, I go to church” not realizing even then how not koo we can be. The history of the tattoos, the thing with homos, the life of gang-bangers, the treatment of myself, the lack of faith, living a lie, and being into astrology, and showing the signs of a budding sex addict was not koo. Your book made me realize that all these things were really bad and that they are not as harmless as I thought. I realized that I really am nothing without God and that all this time I was searching for the answer but not finding the solution because i was being dumb and avoiding it. It also made me realize how demons and bad thoughts can come in and out of your mind in a split second and you can not even know.”……….. “I find myself praying more and thanking God for second chances because I don’t know what I do with myself if He didn’t and I thank him for speak to me through you because it was through you that I found the answer I was looking for.”
What Gangmembers have said….. “I will have to say Thug Mentality Exposed is one of the best books I’ve ever read based on everything in it is real. When I read the stories in it, it has me thinking about my own life and how lucky I am to still be alive. Sometimes all it takes is the right words to make someone realize how short but also precious life is and I think if you really read and put your attention in the book one time, those words or in thug mentality exposed, how brotha Ray explains life inside the book is real no sugar coated but real, that’s why I like reading it, I’m also learning from it.”
“I think when I read “Thug Mentality Exposed” a lot of thoughts ran through my mind like is this guy is bull sh@#’n or is he for reals. So I gave it the benefit of the doubt and read a couple of chapters from what I read and know about the cults and Adam and Eve about how satan manipulated them is right and how gangs and everything around it all goes back to the Bible and it all started from religion. When I found out about that, it really hit me and had me start thinking about me and who I really am.”
“After reading a couple chapters, it opened my eyes to the way I used to think, feel and act. I believe this book is very explanatory and education for every women and man.”