Book Review: If My People. Prayers for Healing, Hope & Restoration

It’s been some time since I’ve done a Gangster Turned Guru book review. It’s not that I haven’t been reading, just a lot going on. Most books I read right through, but others are meant for one to take their time with. “IF MY PEOPLE” ‘Prayers for Healing, Hope and Restoration,’ was such a book. There will always be situations that occur in life that appear to challenge one’s faith, so to have good resources to rely on in those trying times is important.
I started my day each morning reading a few prayers from the over 20 contributing authors, or should I call them Prayer Warriors, all with there unique voices. Believe me I know the power of prayer. Although the Gangster Turned Guru does not proclaim any religion to be the ONE religion of GOD, these evangelistic Christian Prayer Warriors have words of wisdom that will inspire and reinforce your relationship with GOD.
Minister Michelle Lee wrote “You didn’t send Jesus here to condemn us, but to save us.” How true and powerful that one line is for those that have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Amanda B. Sumiel wrote about the secret power of having an attitude of gratitude, “As I prepare for my day, I thank you for my family and friends, my pastor, and church family, a great job with an easy commute, finance, and good health.” That “easy commute” really stood out as so often we disregard the hundreds of blessings each day to focus on the one or two things that didn’t go as we thought they should, and waste more energy being negative, while neglecting the positive.
Terry Wedlock wrote, “My work with you will no longer be just about the situation right now. My faith knows, you already have that worked out.”These are the encouraging words to rely on, especially in this chaotic prison environment that I’ve lived in for over 18 years.
While reading “IF MY PEOPLE” I was often transported back in time as a young child going to my favorite Aunt Linda’s church ALL DAY SUNDAY! Aunt Linda is an OG of Prayer Warriors. And while reading “IF MY PEOPLE” it triggered happy memories that I thank God for. There are moments in life where you can feel defeated, and can’t find the words for prayer….that’s how I was feeling when the words of “IF MY PEOPLE” found me.
For this gift, I give “IF MY PEOPLE” 5 Gangster Turned Guru stars!

I Stay Grounded

My ways and actions, choices, and decisions reflect the degree to which I’ve related to the One Source of life.
Sometimes it’s more and sometimes it’s less.
I’ll be the first to admit that Eddie Wright has expressed some very ungodly behaviors in my past.

But yet and still, the connection with the One Source of life does not change.
What has changed is my understanding of the only power in the Universe, God.

But God means different things to different people and that can cause confusion or even worse the illusion of separation between one another.

The “them versus us” mentality is so indoctrinated in cultural conditioning that it’s easy to buy into this delusion of division.
Turn on the television.
Read the newspaper.
It’s abundantly clear that there is a dire disconnect in society on a variety of levels.

The promotion of division could be discouraging when one has the inner realization of the unity of the energy of love while living in a prison environment amongst a majority that doesn’t. But this awareness produces a poise that keeps me motivated to share my spiritual experience through the conversations I have and the books that I write.

Most importantly I’ve recognized that how I live my everyday life, especially in the way I conduct myself, reflects the God/Guru relationship.

I’ll share a morning cup of coffee with ‘Country’. Our bald heads appear to be the only similarity.
He has White Pride tattooed across his back and a black swastika inked on his forehead.

An hour later, you might find me in the recreation yard doing burpees with Khalid, whose thick black beard, ankle-high pants, and dark brown nickel-size callus from his five daily prayers are centered on his forehead.

I’m able to have enlightening spiritual conversations with them both, regardless of their differences and beliefs.
I don’t allow outer appearances to distort me from the essence of what we share.

My abstract method of rationalizing life through the Universal laws and how they operate allows me to be open-minded, non-judgmental, and objective about this reality. I can have my individual point of view while respecting a different perspective from another whose race, religion, or political affiliation may not be the same as mine.

No matter how radical or off-the-wall one’s attitude may appear to be to me, I don’t get distracted from the Source that connects us.

Staying grounded in unity helps to achieve more positive consequences than disunity.
That’s reasoning enough for me to recommend giving the view from Oneness of life we share a try.

Life Dot

It takes some people longer than others to connect what I’ve sometimes called “Life dots.”
As for myself, I have no problem admitting that I was a slow learner.
It took an extreme reality check, akin to having an outer body experience, to realize that life unfolds from an unseen force, creating the visible manifestation of the reality that’s experienced.

I came across this spiritual realization by constantly making major mistakes based on my irrational criminal thinking errors. The fact that I’m currently writing this while sitting in my cell at USP Canaan, closing in on my 18th year is evident enough not to have to go into greater detail of my past extreme bad decisions.

Still, I’m able to recognize the beauty of unity from the One Supreme energy of life, i.e. God.
How an individual relates with their higher power is exactly what creates the personalized relationship that’s experienced.
Belief, faith, honesty and trust are a few key elements of maintaining a healthy relationship with this Oneness of all that is.


It’s the Absolute Life Dot to which we are all connected, regardless of the mistakes we’ve made, our religion, race, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. The unity of all of life is God, even when in our individual capacity we do un-Godly things.
That indivisibility does not, can not, and will not change.

Some people refuse to accept this and that’s ok.
But allow me to explain why I can stand by this claim of connectiveness with this One Unifying Source of all that is.

We can only come from life and since we are living life, it makes sense that we are in life and life is in us, resulting back to us all being One with life.

Pretty simple right?

Now, having this self-awareness and actually being conscious that it’s a co/creation relationship, should wipe away any doubt or confusion in one’s ability to create an abundant reality.


Because you are in that One Source of Life just as that One Source of Life is in you and since the Infinite Source is limitless in all things, then you are too.

Sounding too good to be true?
Ask yourself this….could God be too good?

When you have a concrete conviction based on your personal experience of how life operates, your thoughts are clear and powerful because the trust, faith and belief that derive from the Universal laws and Principals of life can not and do not fail.

The dots always get connected because in the Ultimate Absolute Reality, we are never dis-connected from the One Life Dot.

Help Me Bring My father Eddie Wright Home! He’s A Good Man !

My name is Nia Wright. I am helping my dad with this petition because I really believe that he is a changed man. I hope you will read his story below with an open heart . and if you can please leave a comment down below. #freeEddieWright

 Thank you!

My name is Eddie Wright. In 2004, I was charged with conspiracy with intent to distribute 50 grams of crack cocaine, under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which created a disparity between crack and powder cocaine, commonly referred to as the 100 to 1 crack law.

Under this law, a person charged with having 5,000 grams of powder cocaine would face a 10 year mandatory minimum; a person, such as myself, charged with possession of a mere 50 grams of crack cocaine, faces the same obligatory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.

No class of drug is as racially bias as crack in terms of numbers of offenses. In 2009, 79 percent of 5,669 sentence crack offenders were black, versus 10 percent who were white and 10 percent who were Hispanic. Of the 6,020 powder cocaine cases: 17 percent were white offenders, 28 percent were black and 53 percent were Hispanic.

One would think this crack disparity law was drafted by Jim Crow himself.

In 2010, Congress attempted to eliminate the crack and powder cocaine disparity, but instead compromised with the 18 to 1 disparity law in the Fair Sentencing Act. The name in itself acknowledges that the crack disparity law is unfair, but still with 18 to 1 it’s just less unfair.

I was given what’s called an 851 enhancement, due to having a previous drug conviction for which I was sentenced to 90 days when I was 18 years old. The 851 enhancement, predicated on a 90 day sentence when I was 18 years old, doubled my mandatory minimum crack law from 10 to 20 years. Ultimately I was sentenced to 45 years for a non-violent federal drug offence.

In Norway, in 20011 Anders Behring Breivik, killed 77 people with gun and bomb attacks. He killed 8 people with the bomb. The other 69 human beings were mostly teenagers that he shot and killed at a summer camp.

He was sentenced to the maximum of 21 years.

This contrast stood out to me, not only because of his maximum sentence of 21 years, but because he was recently denied parole. I have over 17 years in prison for a non-violent federal drug offence in America and don’t even have an opportunity for parole, it no longer exist.

Still, I accepted full responsibility for my actions. I was immature, narrow-minded and participated in a destructive criminal lifestyle. I recognize the negative affect my choices had on my community, but more importantly the devastating impact my actions had on my family. When I got sentenced to 45 years, my mother, sister, wife, children and the rest of my family got sentenced also. Their unconditional love and support inspired me to change the way I choose to live my life.

The first step on this journey was to remain drug and alcohol free. I’ve been sober for over 16 years. Next, came my most important step which was establishing a personal relationship with my higher power. With God, I had the strength and fortitude to right my wrongs and make amends for the hurt and pain I’ve caused myself, my family and society.

In 2008, upon arriving at USP Canaan, I began to teach physical fitness, wellness and Yoga classes. This is at one of the most violent penitentiaries in America and I’ve taught these classes every morning of the week for over a decade. I’m the head of my spiritual group, where I speak at our weekly meetings in the chapel. I’ve earned over 70 certificates for my participation in programs. I’m currently in the final phase of the Challenge program which is a modified therapeutic community that addresses drug abuse and criminal thinking errors. I’m already a mentor in this program, a position a selected few are normally given after you graduate.

I’ve written over 12 books, two of which have been published, making me an Amazon best selling author. I write spiritual self-help books as a way to help others find healing, peace, and happiness. I’m the first father to publish a memoir of how I came to accept and love my son unconditionally as a member of the LGBTQ community. This has been one of my proudest achievements, not only because this helped heal our relationship, but I’ve been contacted by others who were helped through the sharing of our experience.

I teach classes on creative writing, public speaking and business economics. My focus has been to do all I can to to better myself, while helping others better themselves. This has given my life meaning and purpose.

My plans upon my release is to continue to give back to my community and be a productive member of society, by visiting schools, youth at risk programs, and group homes with the goal of deterring others from making the same mistakes I did.

Currently, there is a bipartisan bill waiting on a vote in the Senate called The Equal Act,(Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law) that would do what it’s name states, eliminate the disparity between crack and powder cocaine.
I believe in speaking things into existence and acting as if it’s already done. So when this Equal Act passes into law, I will be filing a motion for a sentence reduction to time served.

Due to Covid restrictions the prison has been on modified lock down. I haven’t been able to give my children a hug or my mother a kiss for over two years. I feel that the more than 17 years of incarceration I’ve served is an excessive amount of time for a non-violent drug offense.

I’m a changed and fully rehabilitated man, who is humbling asking for you to please sign this petition to reduce my sentence to time served.

My Graduation Speech

I want to start by saying it’s an honor to be able to express myself for this ceremony.
When I first signed up for the Challenge Program, I came with an open mind to learn, but also with the lingering pre-conceived idea’s from negative things I’ve heard about the program block since I came to Canaan in 2008.

As much as my guys who were in Challenge tried to convince me to take the program, it just wasn’t my time.
But I knew that when I came over to the Challenge Program, it was with the intent to learn what I did not know to help reinforce a healthy lifestyle.

When I first heard about the tools of the program, with R.S.A.’s, the five rules of rational thinking, positive attitudes, criminal and cognitive thinking errors, it was a little intimidating. But at the same time I noticed how guys that have been in the program understood and learned them, so since I’m a pretty smart guy, I knew I’d comprehend them in time.

I came over here to challenge myself. I was excited to start my first book and proud of myself every time I handed one in on my count down to the final Transition book.

These were the goals I set for myself.
I wanted to graduate the program and become a mentor. I challenged myself to achieve these goals.

When I faced obstacles, mostly of my own creation, I used the tools that I’ve learned in the program to deal with them in a way that resulted in achieving my desired consequences.

An area in my life where the Challenge program has helped me the most is with communicating with my family, especially with my mother. She loves that I’m in this program and why wouldn’t she? Our family members and loved ones want us to do better for ourselves. I’ve found that using the program language with my mother when I notice she’s awfulizing or not being objective, or defiantly not using the 5 rules of rational thinking, I can bring it to her awareness and by attaching it to the program, she’s more receptive.

When I’ve admitted my faults while communicating with my daughters, I accepted responsibility, did the self-help up, got the feed back and then I explained that process I went through to my daughters. They respected and appreciated that I took these steps more than me just saying “I’m sorry I got upset.” This strengthens our relationship and that’s important to me.
Yes, I attribute that to what I’ve learned in this program.

Essentially it’s not about the program per se, it’s really about Challenging myself.
The program has given me a foundation of a format and structure to follow, designed to help and assist me with identifying the root cause of this prison experience I’ve created for myself.

That root cause is the way that I used to think.
My criminal thoughts were irrational, simply because they resulted in either my being in prison or death.
I knew that and still choose to entertain them.
I was blessed with prison, because I’ve now learned how to think rationally.

This did not happen over night, there were various stages of change.
For those of you who are new to the program, embrace the challenge to change.
No one expects perfection. But they do require progress in doing better with the choices and decisions that we make for ourselves. I can’t find fault with that, because I want better for myself.

When my beloved community members joke me about being “Programmed out,” I have no problem with proudly accepting that. I know who I’ve been and how my irrational thoughts attracted this 45 year sentence.
Entertaining cognitive and criminal thinking errors, do not produce my desired results.

Working on the journals, listening to seminars, and participating in the process groups helped me understand myself more and equipped me with the positive tools for my future.
I know who I am and I know all the potential I have. It’s the same potential all of you have if you choose to apply yourself by stepping up to this challenge. Please, don’t look at this as just another prison program. Look at it as an investment, investing in creating a better future for yourself.

Listen, I know that making a commitment to change is not an easy thing to do. I still and probably will always struggle with my attitudes and thinking errors, but that struggle isn’t as hard or as difficult as it used to be. I’m creating new thinking habits by thinking rationally.

In closing, I want to congratulate myself and fellow graduates whom I call the magnificent seven.
When our group first met, there were 28 of us and an individual who had previously been in the Challenge program, told us that only about 7 of us would make it up to this point.
Ironically, he was the first one that we lost from our group. But myself and Mr. Dixon automatically said, “I’m going to be one of those seven.” We set our goal and now we are both here.

We all helped one another through this process. That’s what this community is about. I’m grateful for the insight, self-discloser, feed back, and advice from all the community members and the treatment staff, Dr.Vogt, Mrs.B, Mr.Vogel, Mr.Schupper, and the true believer Mrs. Cook, thank you.

I’ll leave you with a simple quote from Jay-Z.
“Strive for what you believe in, set goals so you can achieve them!”


I’ve come to understand that I’m always dealing with the First Cause in the creation of my reality and experiences.

“What is the First Cause?”

My thoughts.

This is a blessing, yet in my unconscious state of awareness, it “seemed” more like a curse.

I said, “seemed” for a crucial reason, since my belief is that I can set my ideas to achieve my goals to create and manifest my destiny, but the ultimate Source of Life, that gives me my creative ability, has a divine plan, not only for me, but for everyone and everything.

So when I think I know it all and how to do it all, then my plans get thrown off track, I know they’re being superseded by the Intelligent Source of Life, commonly referred to as God.

God has created Universal Laws and Principals that are activated by the way we think.

Like a mirror, our life condition is a reflection of the predominate pattern of thought that are entertained. This is known as the Universal law of attraction. Our thoughts ignite this law, attracting experiences corresponding to our inner mental attitude.

That’s a Fact.

When I entertained criminal thought patterns, rooted in this image of myself as a gangster, like a magnate, I pulled the creation of this 45 year federal sentence, echoing my inner thinking.

It was not God punishing me.
God is love.
And God loves me so unconditionally that she allowed me to make all my terrible choices and destructive decisions, regardless of the consequences.

The First Cause that imprisoned me is that same power igniting the Laws and Principals that have freed me.
No, I do not have my physical liberty, yet. My freedom within will manifest external conditions through the same Laws and Principals that got me here.

Now is that my excuse?
Is this what I tell myself because it sounds good?

This is a truth that I’ve put to the test on countless occasions for over 17 years behind these penitentiary walls.

My spiritual conviction is based on what I’ve personally experienced in my transformation from being known as a Gangster, to being respected as a Guru!

God Is Good

Since my spiritual comprehension isn’t adequate enough to where I believe I can fly, I don’t jump off of buildings.
My understanding isn’t such where it makes it possible for me to walk through a brick wall, so I use the door.

One of the reasons I have a solid spiritual conviction of the Universal laws and Principals that I’m comfortable with accepting that there are some things I don’t know about the Intelligent Source of Life.

Going as far as that which I spiritually understand, is what resonates and solidifies the truth that resides in me.
The Universal laws are limitless and the Principals of life are infinite.

I’m not intimidated or discouraged when attempts are made to challenge my co/creation relationship with God.
“Why don’t you create your way out of prison Mr. Guru?”

Idle efforts to cast doubt on what I know to be true are made by those who attempt to throw me off my path, instead of walking along with me.

I generously accept their not-knowingness, often replying with only a pleasant smile. But for others, that’s not enough so I’ve admitted, “I don’t have the same degree of spiritual awareness at Jesus, but if I did, I would walk on water.”

I don’t spend my time complaining about why certain things don’t work.
I apply what does work and experience the benefits from that.

You see, when it’s a co/creation relationship and you’ve done your creative part, the how and when is up to God.
I’m cool with that.

Just knowing I’m ONE with the Universe gives me the patience, faith, and trust that answers my prayers.
Sometimes that answer is NO!
Only when it’s not in alignment with the bigger picture that God and I are in the process of creating.
I’ve realized that through countless personal experiences.

By understanding the Universal law and it’s absolute Principals, I remain calm throughout the storm and maintain my peace in the mist of what appears to be chaos.

Don’t get me wrong, at times, I still ride that rollercoaster of emotions. Yet after a few deep breaths or a moment of meditation, I no longer react I respond in the most positive way I can.
This is how I achieve my most desirable result.

What I want for myself, I want for others. This is the principal of Unity, ultimately manifesting the goodness of life, because

God is good!

President Biden

I’ve never been a complain about the problem, type of person. I accept what is and focus on the solution. If it’s a reoccurring problem, then it’s important to investigate the cause so that it doesn’t continue and ultimately unfold into a bigger dilemma.
To listen objectively with an open mind and not allow my emotions to supersede my intelligence, is what has gained me the respect as an “O.G.” or “Shot Caller” behind these prison walls.

Yes, there are still those that respect only violence and prior to my “Guruism” enlightenment, I entertained that pattern of thought. By comprehending that train of thinking, I can relate and more importantly convey a rational justification for a peaceful solution to whatever the issue may be.

Now let’s not get it misconstrued, there are plenty of disputes where brutal force is the only resolution to curtail a greater crisis. I’m in a level 7 maximum federal penitentiary, with the influence to push the nuclear option button, a responsibility I never wanted or asked for. But being able to identify that prison politic’s is a game of chess and not checkers, I accept that I’m capable, competent and trusted to make the best choices and decisions for the greater good of all.

Now that being said, when I read or watch the news pertaining to the politic’s of the free-world, I can’t help but observe the similarities. Let me be clear, I am not a big fan of President Joe Biden, he was the main coordinator of the 1986 crime bill, creating the 100-1 crack disparity law, one of the most Jim Crowish type of laws of our time. But again, I’m open minded and objective, recognizing that his administration is working to correct that wrong.

I have no problem giving credit where credit is due and when I listened to President Biden’s recent speech to the world, pertaining to this war on Ukraine, it’s future implications and the steps being taken against Russia, I humbly have to admit that I’m glad that it’s President Biden and NOT Donald Trump, who’s the “O.G.” for this particular situation.

Listen, I honestly enjoyed when Donald Trump was president, not just because he past the First Step Act, he was entertaining and his administration exposed a lot about America and it’s system of government. I’ll leave it at that.

I’m not a Democrat or a Republican, I listen to policy, logic and reason with each issue independently. So at this moment of time, I am independently thankful and grateful to have President Joe Biden as our “Shot caller”.

Today’s Seminar: What Kind Of Father Are You Choosing To Be?

Currently I’m in the Challenge Program, a modified therapeutic community that addresses drug and criminal thinking errors, here at USP Canaan. One of the requirements is actively participating with presenting personal seminars that are given on Tuesdays and Thursdays, after our initial morning meetings.

It’s difficult to stand up in front of roughly 100 fellow individuals and share intimate details of your life, especially in this environment of a level 7 maximum security penitentiary. The super tough ego persona is on steroids with a majority of the population, and although it’s toned down a few degrees in this “program unit”, the under current of the ‘convict code’ still has a vital presence.

So I understood why after handing in my brief summary for my first seminar to the treatment specialist for approval, I was called into her office because she has some concerns.

“Mr. Wright, you’re choosing to do your seminar on open-mindedness,” said Mrs. Cook, who’s about 4’8 in height, with short cropped blond hair and tattoos from her hands running up both arms with artwork representing a Buddhist types of philosophy, “and you struggled with open-mindedness when it pertained to accepting that your son is gay.”

I nodded my head as she continued, “I think the topic is great. I’m just concerned about,” she took a two second pause to find the right words, “your delivery because I don’t want you offending certain people,” she explained with raised eyebrows.

Of course I knew she was alluding to the homosexual activities that are prevalent in prison. “You don’t have to worry about anything Mrs. Cook,” I assured her, “I know to keep the discussion on me with ‘I statements’.”

“But are you sure you’re comfortable revealing that your son is gay? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s honorable and courageous and you would think grown men would be able to…”

“Listen, Mrs. Cook,” I injected, “I know how to speak about this topic without offending anyone. I’m not ashamed of having a gay son. I published a memoir about our relationship. Trust me on this, you have nothing to worry about.”

She gave an elongated blink and slowly said “All right Wright,” as I turned and walked out of her office.

The fact that the treatment specialist felt she had to discuss her concerns with me revealing that I have a gay son was confirmation of how important bringing this taboo topic to light is. Fathers accepting and loving unconditionally their sons or daughters who are in the LGBTQ plus community is a critical element of being a good parent.

A fathers recognition of acceptance forms and shapes how the child values themselves. Being valued is essential to a child’s healthy mental growth and development. So I was invigorated approaching the microphone as this would be my first time speaking to an audience about how I became open-minded with accepting my son.

I can confidently say you really can’t get a tougher crowd then individuals with double digit football numbers and multiple life sentences.

When I spoke, I admitted that at times it was as if my son was raising me. Although it was a struggle, he taught me, sometimes forcing me to be open-minded and learn to truly love unconditionally.

When I finished my seminar, the process is to ask for ‘feed back’ from at least 3 members of the audience. More than 7 people quickly stood up and shared various experiences of family members and friends. But it was later that day when a few different fathers approached me privately with concerns about how they should navigate their relationships with their gay sons.

I acknowledged their fears and concerns while bringing to light that the issue isn’t that their child lives a LGBTQ plus lifestyle, the real question they must ask themselves is what type of fathers are they choosing to be?


He was 5 years old when he killed his 2 year old sister, after finding a loaded shotgun behind their mothers bedroom door while playing cowboys and Indians.

Too often we hear or read in the news of children accidently killing other children and we may emphasize for 30 seconds or even a full minute of our time, but the impact of such a grave tragedy is most often disregarded.

Forty years of guilt and pain that this 5 year old carried was only ever eased with the use of alcohol and drugs. This mythology only increased his number of bad choices, which lead him to where he is now, USP Canaan, participating in the Challenge program, giving a seminar on how he finally learned to forgive himself for the devastating mistake he made as a child.

We project out ideas of ourselves in our personalities which are formed at such a young age that I truly empathized with his struggle. I could hear how much he’s suffered through life. That he finally came to the place where he’s found peace within himself is a good thing. The fact that he’s working to help others find peace within themselves through learning how to forgive is even better.

I’m a mentor in this Challenge program, which didn’t surprise anyone since I’m already known as the gangster turned Guru. My door is always open for positive spiritual advice and explaining the power of forgiveness is one of the re-occurring lessons that I share.

I’ve found that a lot of people have difficulties forgiving themselves because they don’t think that God would forgive them.

“I’ve committed a mortal sin!,” is frequently the type of rationale used to live in this eternal bondage of self-condemnation.

“God’s not worried about your little transgressions,” I often remark. My dignified, unconcerned way of disregarding the idea of this oppressive, tyrannical concept of God has resulted in a diverse number of reactions, that normally navigate the conversation towards explaining the unconditional love of God and logically making the segue to us all being worthy of divine forgiveness.

I’m not talking with guys that didn’t pay their taxes or may have robbed a local liquor store.

USP Canaan is a level 7 maximum penitentiary. This means that there is a maximum amount of God’s spiritual beings that have yet to recognize the essence of who they truly are.

To live that recognition is to be able to forgive. When you learn to forgive yourself, the burden of suffering is lifted off your shoulders.

Jesus clearly taught the healing power of forgiveness, explaining that we should forgive seventy times seven. That’s basically saying God’s unconditional love includes forgiveness, eternally available to us all, if we allow God’s love in our hearts.