Episode #4 - Narco Mindset Podcast - Choices and Consequences
NARCO MINDSET Podcast - Episode #4
Choices and Consequences
February 19, 2020
The Host: Jorge Valdes Ph.D. - An Author, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and You Tuber
Co-Host: Anthony Petrucci
Narco Mindset is an enlightening, informative, effortlessly entertaining podcast. It contains compelling RAW storytelling and intellectually honest talk about life. We will be delving into life challenges, life miracles, life recovery, and life opportunities. It illuminates a new generation on the power and the impact of a positive mindset.
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In this episode, Dr. Valdes comes to the end of his story. What happens when he decides to plead guilty? Inspirational speakers have conditioned us to subscribe to their program or send them money, telling us our life would drastically change and, at times, become rich. Do bells go off in heaven, and do all things become good once you have turned to God? Maybe for some, but for Dr. Valdes, you will discover how his life goes from bad to worse. How can such an inner sense of corruption and desperation drive you to be willing to die in a federal prison? In life, we make choices that have consequences, as a Christian, I tell my kids that God is, and His justice demands that positive actions are rewarded, and adverse effects are punished. So, committing all the heinous crimes I committed, how can everything suddenly be well. Stay tuned and find out how the story ends.
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TRANSCRIPTION OF EPISODE #4
Intro: Before we watched TV shows and movies on Narcos, and even before Pablo Escobar’s rise to fame, there was one man who was the ultimate Narco. He lived the Narco life of greed, money and power but found a way to reclaim his life, and use his astonishing experiences to empower others to live a life of hope, meaning and redemption. Welcome to the Narco Mindset podcast where Dr. Jorge Valdes shares his journey through life before and after the Medellín Drug Cartel. From torture and multiple prison sentences to how he refocused his life onto a path of principles learned as a Narco, it’s time to share that raw truth with you, right here on the Narco Mindset podcast, with your host, Dr. Jorge Valdes.
Jorge: Welcome to the Narco Mindset podcast. I am your host, Dr. Jorge Valdes, here with my co-host, Anthony Petrucci. We are finally coming to the end of my story. In the last episode, I was arrested again and facing a life sentence. I had a choice to make. Trust my attorney who was telling me I can win this or trust that inner voice that is telling me that … see, we want to be born again, but we don’t want to die. We want our lives to change, but we don’t want to change patterns. We want to change our habits, but we don’t want to change our location. We want to change things we do, but we don’t want to change the friends that we do it with. I was an extremist. I’m like, “This is what I’ve got to do.”
I remember walking to the US Attorney’s office, and the prosecutor, a wonderful person, said to me, “Hey, Mr. Valdes, real simple. Lots of money, little time. Little money, lots of time.” I was charged in a district where at that time Jeff Sessions was the US Attorney. They treated me very decently. I said, “Do you know how much I got?” She’s like, “No, I don’t, but I know who does.” She opened up the door, and these agents came I, and they knew everything. They knew how much toilet paper I spent. They said, “We want it all.” According to the calculation, it was $10 million to $20 million but in reality, it was over $40 million. I remember looking at myself, I said, “I need to call my dad.”
My dad and I had bought the ranch. When we bought it, we bought it with the legal money that we had made. We had paid very little for it but I had pumped millions of drug money in it, and according to the government, the whole place was tainted, and they wanted it all. I called dad, I said, “Hey, dad, they want everything.” I remember my father not hesitating for a moment and saying, “Son, just give it to them. It’s all dirty. Son, if you don’t give it to them, you're going to be fighting these people for the rest of your life, and money is not worth it. You can start afresh. You can start anew.” That’s easier said than done. You’ve lived the life of a millionaire for 10 years, and all of a sudden, you're going to come out and not have a dollar?
I forfeited everything. I remember going in front of the judge and him saying, “I reject any agreement that you have reached with the government now or ever, and it is my intention to sentence you to a life sentence. Son, you will die in federal prison.” I said to this judge, I said, “Your honor, I don’t care what you give me because if God doesn’t change my life, I’m dead anyway.” I was beginning to pray and believe God, give me 10 years because in reality, I am voluntarily forfeiting all the millions of dollars they can take. Number two, I’m pleading guilty without fighting them, so in reality, all they got on me is a violation of parole of the last 10 years parole that I had according to my calculation, but they had more, of course.
I prayed and prayed that God would give me 10 years, and after six months of waiting for the sentencing, the judge sentenced me to 10 years. In his words, the man he was sentencing was not the man that committed those crimes. It was a rough day. Just think about it. Here I am, I turned my life over to God. I changed my life, and what is the first evidence of a transformed life? Number one, I’m facing eight life sentences. Number two, my ex-wife disappeared for two years with my kids. I didn’t know where they went. Number three, I get a call that my father has been diagnosed with cancer, and has less than a year to live. Number four, I walk into a cell in county jail and lay down in a bunk, and I hear the trustee saying, “Milky Ways, Milky Ways.” Apparently, they had Milky Ways all the time, and I was so hungry. I had not eaten for over 24 hours, and I said to myself, “Man, shit, I don’t have money, a dollar to buy Milky Way. Just yesterday, I was worth millions. Today, I don’t have a dollar.”
As I lay in the bed, a little paper flew onto my chest. It was a cutout from a little pocket Bible. It had a verse that I still save, highlighted, “Rejoice at the confiscation of your goods. I’ve got greater riches for you in heaven.” You know, that day I realized I was created for a different life. I was created to be somebody. My life meant more than just living and dying. I was created to make an impact. All of us are. I was created to live a life different than what I lived. For whatever reason, with nothing, expecting to be in prison for the rest of my entire life, not seeing my kids get married, not seeing my kids graduating, not seeing my parents die and be able to bury them. I started to have meaning for my life, and suddenly, that hole started to fill. It was a long time. I ended up having to do almost five years.
When I got out of prison, I remember the counselor saying to me, he’s saying, “You know what young man, I’ll tell you this, you need to just stay here, Jorge. You're a legend here. Everybody loves you. You’ve got food, you’ve got clothing, free housing. What are you going to do out there? You are a twice-convicted drug dealer. You are 40 years old. Who’s going to hire you?” I said, “I’ll tell you who’s going to hire me. The Bible says I was given favor before kings.” He said, “Well, there aren’t no kings anymore, son.” I said, “Well, yeah, the President of the United States is a king.” He said, “Well, it’ll be a cold day in hell before you go to the White House.” Three years later, I went to the White House, had a White House clearance, addressed the United States Congress, addressed the flight officers at the Pentagon, and my life began to change. Was it easy? No, it wasn’t easy, but I’m going to tell you how it all began.
The day I walked out of that prison, not having a dollar, not knowing what to do with my life. 40 years old, four small children, I couldn’t even pay for their alimony, and all of a sudden, how was I going to survive? Before I tell you about what happened the day after I got out, let me tell you what’s important in life, and I thought was critical for me. Even in the book I write, Narco Mindset, I talk about mindset, mindset, mindset. I think the mindset is very, very critical because the first time I went into prison, my mindset was, “I’m just going to have a good time. I’m still going to make a lot of money on the streets. I’m not spending it, so I’m going to come out with a lot more money, and I don’t give a damn. These people are not going to break me, I’m going to make a fool of them.”
When I went into prison the second time, I had a completely different mindset. The mindset I now had was, “I’ve got X amount of years to be here, so I’m going to do and make something out of my life.” Prisoners say that “Hey, you know what, you need to sleep 12 hours because if you sleep 12 hours, you sleep half of your sentence away. If you sleep 18 hours, you sleep two-thirds of your sentence away.” To me, it was different. I used to sleep five hours because I wanted to sleep as little as humanly possible I could so that I can take the rest of the time and better myself. I began to study. I ended up signing up for a class to get another degree in Bible and Theology. I wanted to learn everything there was about this Jesus that people kept talking about that I gave and committed my life to not believe that he was real or not.
I began to read the Bible in every language that you can imagine, in every different translation or paraphrase. Whatever there was, I would read the Bible, and I read it day and night. Then I signed up for South Eastern College, and I wanted to get a degree in Theology. I ended up getting a bachelor’s in about 18 months. I graduated 4.0 summa magna cum laude, and then I wanted to find out what was the best Christian school that there was to get a graduate degree. I heard about this school called Wheaton College. A lot of the professors that I had taken classes from at South Eastern were graduates of Wheaton. I decided I’m going to apply. They have a program where you can do two-thirds of your master’s online, and then the other third, you had to do it on campus.
I said, “You know what, at least ... I’ll tell you what I’m going to do; I’m going to do my two-thirds while I’m incarcerated, and I’m going to study as much as I humanly possibly can.” That meant I had to learn Greek. Who was going to teach me Greek? There was no Greek professor in the prison. Not a problem. I'll just buy me the Greek book and memorize the son of a bitch, and that’s how I learned Greek.
I applied Wheaton, and I’ll never forget they told me, “Part of the application was to give your testimony.” I’m like, “Oh, hell no.” If I give my testimony and I let these people know who I was, the first thing that they are going to do is tell me to stay far away from Wheaton. I struggled with that. I had already taken a couple of classes that they allowed me to take without applying to see if I liked it, and I became pretty good friends with this professor named Walter Elwell. He was the mentor of the extension program, so I decided I was going to call him. I had shared my life with him before and I said, “Dr. Elwell, the application said I have to give my personal testimony.” He says, “That’s correct.” I said, “Dr. Elwell, there's no way I can do that.” “Well, why not, Jorge?” I said, “If I give them my testimony, tell them who I was, they are never going to accept me.”
See, that’s the whole thing about life. That’s why we don’t come clean with anyone. We don’t want to come clean with anyone because we fear of being judged. If we are judged, the worst comes after judgment which is condemnation. Nobody wants to be judged, and nobody wants to be condemned. I told him that, and I’ll never forget him saying to me, “Jorge, if those people judge you, it’s because they don’t know their Bible well, and I know mine. Son, go ahead and write your testimony.” I did. The day that I was accepted was really a big confirmation for me because it wasn’t meant that I was accepted to go to this college; it meant that someone was beginning to believe in my transformation. Someone was beginning to believe that I was a different person. I took all the courses that I could from Wheaton College. I had 4.0, and when it came time for me to have to go on the campus.
Well, two things were met. Number one, prior to that, before taking the last three courses, I had to take my graduate record exams because otherwise you cannot be admitted into a master’s program without what they call your GRE. I got my brother to send me a book, and I started taking practice tests and practice tests but where am I going to get tested? I’m in jail. I find out that the Princeton Testing Center has an exception. If you are handicapped, they’ll come to you once a year. Think about it, who’s more handicapped than someone in prison? I go to the warden to get permission so they can come to give me the test, which was going to be in three weeks, and he’s like, “Boy, where the hell do you think you are? You are in fucking prison man, this isn’t any school. Get the hell back to your cell.” I went back to my cell, but you know what, I didn’t go back defeated because I believe in miracles. I believed that something could happen, that God would make a way for me to go ahead and take this test. I kept practicing the test and practicing the test, and take the practice test over and over and over again.
Two weeks later, they brought in some state inmates to the cell where we were, which was only a federal cell. A riot broke out with no time at all, and they took the guard prisoner. Well, I and some of my boys stormed the cell where they had him, and we rescued the guard. When we did that, I remember the warden coming and saying, “What do you need for me to give you? Do you need a letter to your judge?” I’m like, “Listen, I’m not even going to go home. Why do I need a letter? I need you to let me take the damn test.” He said, “Done.” That’s how God made a way for me to take the test, and I did. Because I thought I had no pressure and it meant nothing, I ended up getting almost a perfect score. So, I’m getting ready to take my last two classes, and now I had no choice but to wait till the day I was released so I could attend Wheaton and take the on-campus classes.
I called my attorney and I said, “Alan, I have a crazy idea. Why don’t you file to get me early release? I only got less than a year left.” Out of the 10 years I had to do two-thirds, which was six years and some months. He said, “You're lucky you got 10. That judge should have given you a minimum 30, 40, 50 years, whatever.” I’m like, “Alan, listen, try it.” And he did. You know, in prison, one of the things that I did when I got committed, I asked this agent that had spent a lot of time after me, who later on became tremendous people, [inaudible 00:12:11], I say, “Forgive me for what I’ve done. I was crazy. I told you exactly everything that I did. I am deeply sorry. You know that I am because I walked away on my own from making a million, three million a month. I didn’t walk away and tell you that I’m sorry that I got caught or that I’m sorry because I got caught. I’m sorry because one day I just couldn’t take it anymore, and that’s not who I was.”
After three and a half, four years of dealing with me, and being able to come and sending me books so that I can study, they went in front of the judge, and the judge reduced my sentence. I went home. When I went home, Alan Ross who had been my attorney forever came to pick me up at the jail, took me to my parents’ house. My parents had no idea I was coming home. They nearly died right there. Alan said, “Be ready at 9:00 tomorrow morning. I’m coming to pick you up.” I didn’t know what he was coming for. 9:00, he came and he said, “I’m taking you to a car dealership, I’m going to buy you a car.” He said, “Jorge, you made me a multi-millionaire. I know you don’t have any money, you don’t have anything, so you know what, I’m going to buy you a car, and here’s a gas card.” He gave me a gas card with $5,000 in it.
I drove to Wheaton, Illinois purely by faith, not knowing what was going to happen in my life, how I was going to eat, how I was going to go ahead and pay the $500 for alimony, just trusting that I’m new , and I’m going to make something out of my life. I went out there and I said, “You know, I’m going to be a college professor one day.” I went to Wheaton, and one of the greatest gifts in my life happened at Wheaton. It was in August 1995. I remember going to a soccer game with a young man that was one of my students, and he introduced me to this girl. He said, “Hey, Jorge, this is Sujey.” She started talking Spanish. I’m like, “Well, where are you from?” She said, “Medellín.” When she said that, I mean literally, I almost crapped in my pants because the last thing I ever wanted to do ... first of all, I didn’t want to meet a girl, I didn’t want to have any more relationships. I looked at my life, I said, “Jorge, you're not good with marriage, do divorce. Check that box. You never wanted kids, you got four. Check that box. You're not good at this game.” I’m going to become a [inaudible 00:14:02], which is a monk that lived a secular life at the university, teaches. All I wanted to do was finish the Ph.D., be at a prestigious university and have a bunch of pretty girls begging me for an A. That was my ideal life.
I meet this girl, and we were one of probably five people that spoke Spanish, and I saw there was something different about her. Here she was in a school with a lot of wealthy students, and she had nothing. She was poor but she was also happy, full of joy. She made no beef about who she was. She was poor, and her parents were poor. Her mother was a maid and her father was a waiter at a restaurant, and she had a part-time job working at Sachs to make money because her parents couldn’t give her any money, at one of the most prestigious universities in America. We started to become friends. One thing led to the other, and after six months, we felt that there was some attraction between us.
Well, I had made a deal with Dr. Elwell that I would never make any decision in my life unless I asked him first. I was on full scholarship, I applied to Loyola University to get a Ph.D., and they had said to me, and not only said to me but gave me a $7,000 stipend twice a year. I was on my way to becoming a college professor. I wanted to be the best theologian in the world. I’ve got to ask Dr. Elwell, what does he think? Well, there’s this girl that’s 20 years younger than me. She’s 20, I’m 40. Here’s a white man that has never lived any kind of life but be in a university. He’s definitely going to say no. I told her, and we both believed that hey if it was God’s will, he would reveal it, and if not, we would move on. What I admired the most about her was she looked at me one day and said, “Look, I’m poor, I’ve got nothing. All I’ve got to give a man is what God gave me. If that’s the woman you're looking for, fine. If not then we’re not for each other.” I admired that a lot.
I went in front of Dr. Elwell, and he looked at me. I said, “Dr. Elwell, I’ve got something to say to you.” He said, “No, no, I’ve got something first.” I said, “All right.” I was like, “Saved by the bell.” The longer I take in telling him, the better off I am. He’s like, “Hey Jorge, have you ever thought about having a relationship with Sujey?” I went into shock. I said, “Why would you say that?” He said, “Well, God’s got big plans for you, and you have a lot of baggage, son, and she has none, and that’s who you need.” “Well, actually, this is what I was about to tell you.” I wept. I went back and I told her. We decided that we were going to maintain a pure relationship. We would date for a year and then we would be engaged for a year and then we’d get married. All along that time, we would pray. If we were not for each other, God was going to reveal it to both of us, not one or the other. We did that, and our whole life was to study. We studied day and night. We had no money to go out. Saturday night we’d go out to Barnes & Noble and take our own coffee because we had no money to buy coffee, and we read books. Then every couple of weeks, one of my students worked at the movie theater and would let us in for free. That was it. That was our date life for all those years that we were together at Wheaton College.
Then finally, the day came that I was going to get married. I went home that semester, and when I went home, dad was in his dying bed, which he ended up that one day dying two weeks before my marriage, in my arms. We had 60 people at our wedding. We did it in a salon that an old friend that I had helped build these party salons gave to me for free. We just told people, “Give us money.” Together, I think they gave us $2,000, $3,000, and my brother again gave me another gas card. We took the car and our bikes, and we went, and we drove all the way up to Montana, and then from there to Wheaton. Along the way, we camped out every day because we could do it for $10 because we didn’t have any money. I’m going to tell you something, it was the greatest honeymoon; it was the greatest time.
I’d stayed at the most expensive hotels in the world. I’d stayed at the presidential suite of the Ritz in Paris, the Claridge’s in London, the Plaza in New York, the Beverly Hills; I stayed at them all. I stayed in their presidential suite paying thousands of dollars a night, and never in my life did I have the greatest time because our joy was not in those material things. Our joy was in doing simple things with each other. On that day when my dad died, shortly thereafter, I was one day in the shower, and I was crying like a baby thinking and missing him, he was my best friend. I was saying like, “My dad never gave me anything. Why am I missing him so much?” Then it dawned on me, he had no money to give me, he had no possessions to buy me, but he gave me his time and he gave me his love, and that’s what I was missing. It was something I didn’t give to any of my kids with all the millions that I had.
One day, I decided, how are those four kids going to remember me? As a dad, we had great times in the summers, sent a check every month. As a dad, I was there at their ball games, at their ballet recitals, at their graduation. I went ahead and talked to Sujey. I said, “Sujey, when we graduate when I finish my Ph.D. and you finish yours, I need to move to Georgia, and be a full-time dad.” She’s like, “Well, what are we going to do?” I said, “I have no idea but God will provide.” We had bought a little house when we got to Wheaton that my dad gave me the down payment for, $105,000. Five years later, the neighborhood ended up becoming where people were buying these little bitty houses with big yards and building million-dollar mansions, and we were able to sell it for $300,000, and that gave us the money to go to Georgia to buy a house, and wait to see.
At Wheaton, I had run into a Mexican gentleman. He and I became good friends, who were the CEO of ServiceMaster. He and I both loved this artist, [inaudible 00:19:16], and the artist was actually one of my closest friends. I had given him a little painting of him. When I told him I was moving to Atlanta, he says, “Why don’t you buy a little ServiceMaster franchise, carpet cleaning, house cleaning, and that way, you can get started.” I talked to my wife about it, I’m like, “You know what, we can clean. Not exactly what my Ph.D. was for but we can do it.” Anyway, we started our little franchise, and then we did a devotional. We decided that every Monday morning, we were going to dedicate our company to God. We had no employees, we had nothing. It was just her and I in the basement of our house. We couldn’t find a devotional that was applicable to the workplace, that was applicable to employees of different religions, different cultures. My wife said, “Why don’t you just write one?” I did. I’m happy to say that I just published it, called Coming Clean Devotional for the Workplace.
We started our company, and every Monday morning, we’d have this devotional. We didn’t have a job. Over the weekend, we didn’t have a single job for Monday. The minute we finished the devotional, the phone would start ringing, and we would get jobs all the way till the end of the week. We decided that we are going to honor God in what we did. We were going to help our employees develop. We were going to give people $1.10 worth of service for $1 worth of money. We were going to do things right. I published a book because an ex-wife that, every time she didn’t get her way, she would threaten me. She was like, “Well if you don’t give me this, I’m going to tell the kids. If you don’t give me that, I’m going to tell the people who you are.” One day, I said, “You know what, you never do that anymore. I’m going to do it.” I wrote Coming Clean.
It was the most liberating thing in my life. It’s something that I speak about and I talk about. That secret inside of us, whether you call it a hidden sin or secret, eats us alive. Until we can come clean with others, so that they can come clean with us, so that we could create a safe space to know each other intimately, with our kids, with our spouse, with our friends, we’ll remain in bondage. I wrote that book, and it became a big hit. I did over 300 radio and television interviews. I started doing big rallies and doing big speaking events. I started enjoying it all over again. I would go there and do this event, and I’d have a thousand people come forth. I remember being at the Capitol and having all those congressmen asking for my autograph, for my book. I was getting high on my story with the excuse that, “Well, I’m doing this for God.” God has a way of dealing with us, and I would feel really, really guilty at the end.
Our business was growing, and then one day my wife decides that she wants to divorce me. I couldn’t understand it because here’s the holiest woman that I know. But you know what, I realized I had abandoned her. Here I was saving the world, here I was being this big celebrity, and not caring about her. Not caring about my family and my kids. Worrying more about doing that big event. Even though I wasn’t making any money because I was donating all the money, I never wanted to live off my past, but I was being the same Jorge Valdes now. That celebrity. The person people want to be around. I almost lost my marriage. The thing about it I thank God is, through a good friend of mine, Max [inaudible 00:22:27], he tells me about this treatment center for counseling in Colorado that really, really helps marriages. I went to it. I went there for two weeks. I realized something that was the most dramatic.
This is how life works. Even when this was happening, two voices; one is saying, “Hey, she wants a divorce, leave her.” The other one is like, “Look at all these women that want you.” But there was this thing that was saying inside of me, “How have you failed God?” I knew how to divorce. I had done that twice. That comes easy. I didn’t know how to deal with rejection. I didn’t know how to deal with not being wanted or think I wasn’t loved. I remember coming out of that center one time and realizing, “You know, I have to love my wife unconditionally.” One thing I learned; love is not an emotion. There is no such thing. It’s bullshit.
We fall in and fall out of love. What the fuck does that mean? You are either in love or you're not. You're either in love because you obey a commandment that says, “I command you to love one another as I have loved you.” You make a choice to love your spouse no matter what that person does. It can’t be conditional. I can’t love my wife if we have a great time in bed. I can’t love my spouse if she makes me happy, she makes me have multiple orgasms, whatever. I’ve got to love my wife no matter what. I’ve got to love her for her faults in spite of any version. I realized for the first time that I was going to love her unconditionally. I came, and I told her. She said, “Well, I’m leaving.” I’m like, “That’s fine, but I’m going to love you for the rest of my life no matter what.” By God’s grace, a month later, she says, “Hey, we’re going to make our marriage work. I just wanted to know that I was loved.” I’ll tell you what, I’m happy to say today.” That was back 13 years ago.
Today, we have the most amazing marriage on God’s earth. For me to spend a day without my wife makes my heart hurt. I can’t even imagine that. I’ve prayed to God that before He takes her, He takes me. We’ve raised two amazing kids, and God honored it. We built our company into a multi-million-dollar company and then one day, when we were at the height of our company, when we were making millions of dollars a year, I sat there one day, and I’m sitting at this job site, and I said to myself, “You know, if a man cannot define when enough is enough, only greed is going to drive him. If greed drives you, you’ll never be happy.”
I called my wife and said, “Sujey, we’re going to leave.” She said, “What do you mean? You’ve worked so hard to get to where you are.” I say, “Yeah, I can stay here and I can add more zeros to my bank account, but look at this. This job I’ve been gone away from home for three years. I’ve seen you five, 10 times in three years. This is not what I want. We’ve got two little kids left. I want to be there. I want to make breakfast for them. I want to take them to school. I want to pick them up from school. I want to go to school and have lunch with them. I want to celebrate their wins and losses.”
It was not that easy because, at the same time, we had private jets now, we had yachts. We were living life again. You know what? Left it all behind, moved to Cozumel, Mexico. We said we were going to move for one year, we ended up staying five years. At the same time, we wanted to teach our children that listen, life is not the life you live. Yeah, it’s easy to love God and it’s easy to be a good person in a suburb when everything is going good for you but I wanted them to see people that were going hungry every day and still love God.
I wanted my children to see that money, that house, the jet that we had could disappear overnight, and if their happiness is dependent upon that, when it disappears, they just want to die. I wanted to teach my children how to be good and honorable people. Even though we had always taught our kids not to be materialistic, we ended up since they were little saying, “Hey, Jesus got three gifts, you're no better than Jesus. That’s all you get. $100.” Our son today is 20, our daughter is 17, and for Christmas, they get three gifts still. Zero materialistic instincts in them. It is not something that they were born with. It’s something that we’ve taught them, working hard year after year because that is the problem.
We don’t invest time in our kids. When we don’t invest time in our kids, somebody else will. Someone else isn’t going to tell them what we tell them. So, if this generation, we say this world’s messed up, this generation is lost. Well, they are not lost. It’s not their fault; it’s our fault. Our kids are dying. They are hungry for direction, to be molded. Us parents have lost sight of the most important thing on God’s earth. We have brought them to this earth, and one of the greatest missions God gives us is to prepare our children for heaven, but we don’t give a damn. We are so worried about that house, that car, that country club, that fancy life. Listen, all of that disappears in a minute, and then where else is your joy coming from?
We moved to Cozumel, Mexico, and we stayed there for five years. Quit speaking because I was jaded. I didn’t want to be that celebrity anymore. I just wanted to be a person. I didn’t want to. I was enjoying my life and that was wrong. Yes, now I was doing it in the name of Jesus. There are justifications for whatever the hell we want to do. Listen, even the Bible, you can find a justification for murder, for whatever you want to do. At the end of the day, we stayed five years in Cozumel, and we came back to States when my wife wanted our kids to go to high school in the United States. After five years, God just had a way of waking me up. Now, I’m on a mission. I’m on a mission to change the world. I believe that if at the age of 20, 21, 23, I created an empire that would destroy the world, I believe that today, Jesus and I are a majority, and I can change the world. I can make a difference.
If you're sitting back in your home, and you’re saying, “What the hell can I do? I’m just somebody, I’m just one person.” There’s a lot you can do. Listen, this farce about winning the war on drugs is a joke. We’re never going to stop the cartels. We need to tell politicians, “Stop lying to us. Stop taking our money and making money off this pretense that you are on this war.” Let’s change society. Let’s rebuild the family. I send my books to prisons, and I can tell you how many changed lives there are. That’s one way you make a difference in the world. When we built our company, we decided that we wanted a great company. What we figured out, my brother and my partner and I, that to make a great company, it wasn’t about equipment, employees or nothing, a great company was one that gave back. We gave 10% of our earnings to the foundation to create programs to help kids get off drugs. We built a church inside Angola, the only Catholic Church inside any United States prison. We created a scholarship for poor people.
I have a friend of mine who is just an average manager. He works for AT&T, and I talked to him a lot about it, and one day, you know what he said? “I’m going to create a scholarship. I’m going to give away $500 a year to an African-American young man for books.” Now, that might not seem like anything but $500 to a kid going to college and struggling, coming from a minority community is a lot. My friend, Fred, is making a difference in kids’ lives. We all can make a difference. The question is do you want to make a difference? Does the world revolve around you or does the world revolve around others? I’m going to close with this, when the pages of history are written my friend, listen carefully, the question becomes, will history ever remember your name?
History will not remember your name for building great companies, building great buildings, libraries, museums. History will remember your name for the impact that you do on someone else’s life. I just thank you for giving me this opportunity in these last episodes. I look forward to next week, and we’re going to start tackling deep subjects. We’re going to talk about everything that you can imagine. Talk about struggles. Like I said before, I’m not preaching. I’m simply going to tell you my story. How I struggled with pornography, how I struggled with sex, how I struggled with power, with money, with death. We’re going to go into deep subjects. Somehow, you’ll find answers, and you will be challenged to be a different person because you can change the world.
You can make this a better world. It starts with our family. Listen, the most important thing that you have in your family. Not that car. Our kids do not want our money; they want our time. It’s free, my friend. Think about that. If you're just starting out in life, and you’re just a middle-level manager or a young man on your way up, it’s wonderful. God needs people. We need people to become wealthy. I believe in capitalism but wealth is not an instrument. Money is worthless. The only value money has is the value and power we give it. We need people that make a lot of money so they can give a lot of money, help the homeless, help prisoners.
Listen, you want to know the greatness of God in this world? Visit three places. First, you need to visit a cemetery so you can see the preciousness of life. Visit a prison so you can see the preciousness of freedom. Visit a hospital so that you can see the preciousness of health. But always remember something; the floor you walk on today might be the ceiling of the place you lie in tomorrow.
Anthony: Well, we’re coming to the end of this journey talking about your life. I think it really sets us up very well for the continuation of this podcast. I really encourage listeners to submit your questions for Jorge. It can be about his past, it can be about the present. It can be anything that’s related, to challenges in life. We’re going to be talking and recording more of these podcasts and really invite listeners to continue this journey with us.
Jorge: See you next week on the Narco Mindset podcast. Have a great day.
Outro: We’ve come to the conclusion of this episode of the Narco Mindset podcast but your path towards hope, meaning and redemption continues. For more information and resources to help you on your path towards finding a life built on integrity, honor and truth, head to jorgevaldesphd.com, and join our community. We appreciate you joining us for this episode, and look forward to helping you find your turning point right here on the Narco Mindset podcast.