The Bledsoe Show

Khristopher: Nomadic Jungle Boy in the Western World #48

Growing up in the forest, Getting kidnapped, Nomadic lifestyle, Getting out of coma and fighting a terminal disease, Living on the streets of LA, and more.

Guest: Khristopher

Khristopher comes from the indigenous people of the rainforest. He was born in 1962, in South America, somewhere between Suriname and Venezuela, to a a tribe of Amerindians. His tribe was nomadic and by the time he was 5 years old, he traveled thousands of miles.

At the age of 5, he was also kidnapped by the Brits. He was used as a human shield to protect the son of some respected parishioner in some church in England, that somehow was caught up in a cult in the jungle. Ever since, he had a crazy nomadic life and ended up in Los Angeles, CA building the brand B.U.M. Equipment.


Growing up in the forest

Khristopher comes from the indigenous people of the rainforest. He was born in 1962, in South America, somewhere between Suriname and Venezuela, to a a tribe of Amerindians. At that time, there were hundreds of tribes that were untouched by anybody.

Life in the jungle was very different than life in the modern world. There weren’t nearly as many conversation between people in the tribe, as you didn’t want to let predators know your location. That’s why his tribe’s vocabulary was very small and they only counted up to 5. Even people’s skin color was a certain brown, so they can be camouflaged in the jungle environment.

Khristopher’s tribe was also nomadic. By the time he was 5 years old, he traveled thousands of miles. His tribe’s routine was: Wake up, be thankful that everybody is still here, and keep moving. They had no home, and ended up at the tip of the Amazon forest, in Guyana. That’s where they encountered the infamous Jim Jones, man of the Kool-Aid.

“History is a silent teacher. Those who don’t know it, are destined to repeat it. Knowledge is power.” — Jim Jones


Getting kidnapped

When Khristopher was 5 years old, he was kidnapped by the Brits. He was used as a human shield to protect the son of some respected parishioner in some church in England, that somehow was caught up in a cult in the jungle. The church sent a deprogrammer and some missionaries into the jungle, and one night they came to get that kid, and they got Khristopher and other kids as shields to get the main kid out.

At the time, the church could basically do whatever they wanted. From giving someone a new name, new rights, a passport to a new country, etc. and they took Khristopher to England. Within 6 months, Khristopher learned English, and he could communicate with his peers, but it took him much longer to figure out his new cultural environment.


Nomadic lifestyle

Khristopher had a hard time in England, he got into trouble and wasn’t liked as the outcast kid. He was shuffled between families at the church congregation, and when he was 10 years old, he was transferred to a sister church in Toronto, Canada, which is where he got his official citizenship.

Since he was a kid, Khristopher had big dreams to become a musician. Soon after he arrived in Toronto, he left to pursue his big dream in Los Angeles, CA as a lone minor. More on this below (scroll down to Living on the Streets of LA).


Recognizing blessings

When Khristopher was 17, he realized he needs to get his life together and that the world wasn’t built for a nomad. He gave himself his education and when he was 20 years old, he had an idea to become a temp worker and work in as many companies as possible, to acquire as much experience as possible. He was curious, and wanted to know everything about anything.

Khristopher was always good at recognizing blessings in his life. In 1988, he interviewed for a temporary receptionist job at a clothing company in downtown Los Angeles, and walked away with a full-time job as the first hire of a new fashion label called B.U.M. Equipment, led by Morty Forshpan. Within 3 years Khristopher took the company into $500 million dollars in revenue per year and it became the #1 fashion line worldwide.

“Life is about knowing how to move immediately, at this moment. You gotta be able to flow. There’s no rules. Everything you think you know, everyday you’re gonna get slammed if you believe that you know that. You’re gonna get tested. So you gotta be flexible.” — Khristopher


We all need more faith

The famous 8 hours of sleep cycle came from a life model built on 8–8–8: 8 hours of work, 8 hours of sleep, and 8 hours of play. But the modern world doesn’t operate on that model, most of us don’t sleep for 8 hours, and we probably don’t even play for 2 hours a day.

A lot of our lives are now based on hitting pinnacles. Whether it’s getting a new car, traveling the world or getting laid, we are hyper-focused on achieving and we want it all at once. The irony is that we can have it all in life, but we need to patient. Every stage has its own meaning and purpose, and instead of caring too much about results, we need to enjoy the process more.

We all need more faith. To succeed today, everyone needs to be an entrepreneur and take full responsibility of their own life. We are all unique and we all have different life experiences. Beyond our health, we have control of everything else in life: How we react, what we do, where we do it, who we do it with… We make our own choices every single day.

Pro tip: Check out the book Mastery by Robert Greene, where he highlights people who accumulated skills that seemed unrelated, which turned out to produce creative people and creative ideas.


Life is good when you feel included

There are no rules in life, but one thing is sure: Life is good when you feel included. We are all unique, but we also need one another. It’s important to know that your part in life is good enough, and we all benefit when we share our gifts and love with one another.

You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Steve Jobs to make a huge impact on others. Even though, books like Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, tell us we 10,000 hours of practice to become experts in something, it doesn’t always work like that. Some gifts are unexplainable. There are 3 year olds who can play Beethoven without practicing for 10,000 hours. So don’t get hung up on numbers and data from others. Believe in yourself. You have a unique gift.


Homeschool vs regular school

Today, it is more accepted that because every kid is unique, everyone needs to learn things in a slightly different way. Khristopher was in school only until he was 10, and similarly, Mike was homeschooled from the 5th grade.

Mike’s mother taught him most subjects, and he got tutors for the rest. Although he put in about 4 hours of school work every day (which is more than most kids at a regular school), the majority of his education came after college. He studied exercise science for years, but the information only sank in once he was practicing it as a strength and conditioning coach.

Unfortunately, the trend for regular schools has been to focus on the weakest link in class. Schools became like warehouses for kids, so parents can go to work. Ashley, Mike’s wife, grew up going to a regular schooling system, where learning was a chore and the opposite of fun. Today, as an adult, she has a different appreciation for learning and passionately studies things she’s curious about.

“What works for me, is not necessarily going to work for you. So I better shut up about my own thing, unless it is to inspire you for you to go on your journey to find what works for you.” — Khristopher


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Learn, understand, and love your family

When Khristopher was a homeless kid, he had many experiences with kids from all walks of life. He noticed a trend that bigger families with 3–4 kids, naturally had kids take on roles of being the good kid, the bad kid, etc. And most of the kids that left home and were on the streets were the ones that were the black sheep of the family, who left home because “they didn’t fit in” with their family.

Khristopher’s lesson and advice to kids: To be a successful adult in the big world, you need to learn, understand, and love all the people that made up your family union.


Love is accepting one another

Are you experiencing love in a healthy way? Mike, and his wife Ashley, have redefined their relationship in the past couple of years. They deeply focused and shared with one another how they want to experience love. How they want to receive love and be in a relationship. They did a lot of work to unlearn what their parents taught them about how a relationship is supposed to be, and created a relationship that works for them. They are now happier and closer than ever.

Both Mike and Ashley committed to love themselves individually first, and love one another second. Their understanding is that if you love someone, you want them to succeed, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of you losing. You have to love yourself first.

“Love is when you post someone else before you. You think of them first. You wake up thinking of them first. And that’s children, your friends, anybody you have… But it’s not thinking of them and losing you in the process.” — Khristopher

Mike thinks about love as acceptance. In his relationship with Ashley, he’s there to help her learn how to love herself, by accepting the parts of herself, that she doesn’t accept. When she experiences Mike loving those parts of her, it gives her permission to love those parts as well. And vice versa, Ashley helps Mike love the things about himself that he doesn’t.

Ayahuasca helped Mike realize that he will be happier if he shared his deepest darkest secrets with Ashley. In the weeks following their ayahuasca experiences, both Mike and Ashley shared things they were embarrassed about from when they were younger, which skyrocketed their level of intimacy. Even though Ashley didn’t agree with the things Mike did in the past that he wasn’t proud of, she accepted him. She understood him even more and her love to him deepend.

Ashley was also holding a big secret away from Mike. She cheated on him after they were together for 3 years, and held on to that secret for 3 years, which put their relationship on hold. Ashley expected Mike to hate her when she confessed to him, but Mike accepted her, understood her, and loved her. Sharing the truth and accepting one another is more important than anything, and it got them closer than ever.


B.U.M. Equipment

B.U.M. Equipment was originally started by two kids in Seattle, WA, who were raising money for a school field trip. They were friends at an auto shop class, who made t-shirts that say BUM as a play on the slang for an auto shop mechanic. Those kids sold a lot of t-shirts in one summer, and one of their neighbor took note, who also was a brother of a guy that had a shirt manufacturing company in downtown LA. Soon after, Morty Forshpan bought that name from the kids.

When Khristopher came to interview at BUM Equipment, he knew nothing about fashion and lied to get the job. He asked for a 30 day trial to help get the brand on its feet, and he somehow got it. Even though Khristopher knew nothing about branding, he transformed BUM into B.U.M., which stands for Basic Understanding of Mankind, and accidentally created a big fashion trend of baggy clothes.

Khristopher didn’t know anything about making or selling clothes, and had 6 weeks to come up with a clothing line. From scratch. It was 1988, the first year manufacturers started making XL, 2XL, and 3XL sizes. Until then it was only S, M, L, and XL. At the time, Khristopher thought the number next to X next meant levels of material quality, with 3XL being the best material. Since he wanted the best quality, he ended up ordering a lot of large sizes, messed up the order, and accidentally created a fashion trend of big baggy clothes. That’s when B.U.M. Equipment took off.

Khristopher was lucky to begin with, but he was also very creative. He closed amazing advertising deals, was the first one to advertise on the outside of bum shelters, and received free giant building billboards. He even clothed a homeless people with B.U.M. Equipment, and was the first to get a boxing athlete to wear branded gear on the ring. He started with Larry Holmes, and then had Oscar De La Hoya, The Golden Boy, become a B.U.M. boy, wearing B.U.M. Equipment on every fight. He signed contracts with the LA Kings, LA Lakers, olympic volleyball players, and even Billy Ray Cyrus, which made the brand popular in the south.


Getting out of coma and fighting a terminal disease

At 29 years old, Khristopher was at the top of his career and was working on another clothing line besides B.U.M. He flew to NYC to meet with a big name model, a big name agency, and even current president, Donald Trump, was supposed to be at that meeting. But Khristopher never made it to the meeting. He got into a coma.

3 days later, he woke up from the coma, and was told by doctors he only had 3 more weeks to live because of a giant tumor in his brain. Khristopher was determined to get over his tumor, and decided to take 3 months off work, which turned into 6 months, and so forth. Eventually, it took him 8 years to fully recover. During those years, his medical bills were up in the millions and his insurance company kicked him out around midway through his recovery, but he took his health into his own hands and healed successfully.

A few years later, Khristopher got into another coma, which lasted 3 months! He survived again, and ever since he’s been living with immense appreciation for every moment in his life.

B.U.M. Equipment destiny: In 1996, B.U.M. Equipment went bankrupt, and was bought in 1997 by SOS Management, who revived the brand. They made a comeback and have been making hundreds of millions of dollars selling clothes outside the USA since 2005.


Gratitude for marijuana

At age 42, Khristopher was introduced to marijuana. He was taking morphine for a long time to ease his pain, and refused to touch cannabis because of propaganda. Eventually, his wife stuck a joint in his mouth and told him to smoke it or she’ll kill him.

Khristopher developed a very healthy relationship with marijuana because he really needed it, and the plant proved to be a much healthier choice for him. Today, even his son has a healthy relationship with marijuana. Unlike common misconceptions about marijuana and laziness, his son is a high achiever, who knows how to use the plant responsibly. Khristopher has much gratitude for marijuana and wishes people had more respect for it, so they could make the most of it, and not abuse it.


Living on the streets of LA

When Khristopher was living in Canada, he made his best friend in his whole life, named Rose. Rose was an Asian kid at his school, and befriended him as they were the only non caucasian kids. Soon after, Rose pushed Khristopher to pursue his dream of becoming a musician and put him on a bus to California when he was only 11 year old.

A week later, Khristopher was a lone minor in Los Angeles. He bought a loaf of wonder bread and skimpy peanut butter, thinking it would last him 6 months. After walking around homeless for 3 days, he encountered his pimp, who he had lived with for a full year.

Soon after, Khristopher was taken in by another adult who had an apartment building in Manhattan Beach filled with runaway kids. His situation wasn’t great, so he ran away with one of the girls from that building. They found an abandoned Mr. Submarine branch and got by with money that girl was making from prostitution.

One day he woke up with blood all over him and saw his friend was murdered. So he hopped on a bus to San Francisco, where he was immediately recruited into the Moonies cult. He spent two years in the cult, writing songs for them, and later lived with two call girls who were taking care of him. Eventually, Khristopher got out of the rut and took on temp jobs in Los Angeles.


Producing music for himself

Khristopher came to LA at 11 years old to become a musician. By the time he was 25, he was in 3 different bands, had record deals, met the wife of his dreams, but had walked away from it all.

At the time, his musician guy friends musicians living off their girls’ salaries to sustain their music careers. At 25, Khristopher met his wife, who had it all. She was in a band, had a record deal, and paparazzi were after her. He thought he would be a boy toy, riding his wife’s success to make his own music career. But the day he met her, her group broke up, and she discovered she had no money, else owned hundreds of thousands of dollars to the IRS.

When Khristopher had cancer, he rented a Paramount studio for 30 days and recorded a whole album by himself. But he never released it. He decided to throw concerts for young people at The Covenant House in Los Angeles, where homeless kids can get their basics needs met. Unfortunately, because he had printed his CDs and put his phone number and address on it for people to reach him, he got himself a stalker. Eventually, that stalker got Khristopher stabbed which sent him to the hospital for 3 months, and he had to move out of his place.

Today, Khristopher writes and plays his music for himself only. He has written hundreds of songs and built a website for the music he produced, but he doesn’t feel a need to share it with the world, he does solely for his own pleasure.


Ayahuasca and Amazonian eye drops

Both Khristopher and Mike are grateful for ayahuasca. They promote the power of the plant, but advocate to be cautious about the experience. Always make sure there is proper integration.

Note: Amazonian eye drops are known to:

  • Treats and prevents ocular diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, and blindness
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Increases visual perception and enhances colors
  • Clears long-standing inner anger
  • Used in conjunction, helps with mental disorders such as addiction, depression, and anxiety

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