Former Klansman tells how and why his views changed in new book - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Former Klansman tells how and why his views changed in new book

In his new book, George Malvaney opens up about being in the KKK, surviving federal prison, and turning his life around to be a successful businessman. (Source: WLOX) In his new book, George Malvaney opens up about being in the KKK, surviving federal prison, and turning his life around to be a successful businessman. (Source: WLOX)
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) -

A Mississippi man with a remarkable story to tell is sharing how he went from being a leader in the Ku Klux Klan to organizing a coup and becoming a leader in the BP oil spill cleanup.

It's a transition that George Malvaney, a Jackson native, is telling in his new book, "Cups Up: How I Organized a Klavern, Plotted a Coup, Survived Prison, Graduated College, Fought Polluters, and Started a Business."

For Malvaney, he said there was one pivotal moment while he was in prison that made him decide to change his path in life.

"I looked down and I could see my reflection and it wasn't a good reflection," he recalled.

The reflection Malvaney saw was in a cup of coffee he was drinking while behind bars in federal prison. 

"It just hit me this is not the life I want to live."

Spending time with the KKK led Malvaney on a path to join a plot to overthrow the government of the Caribbean nation, Dominica. That plot landed him in prison. Fast forward 30 years later and Malvaney was leading the cleanup effort following the BP oil spill. 

"I just felt it was time to get it all out, the good, the bad and the ugly," siad Malvaney.

In the book, Malvaney goes into detail about his experiences with the Klan and provides a rare insight into the secret organization. 

"I say it in the book that there is a lot of ignorant people in the Klan and they're never going to get anywhere," he said. "They're a very irrelevant organization."

Malvaney's past and present as the owner of an environmental emergency response agency based in Mississippi gives him a unique perspective on looking at the Mississippi state flag. 

"I think the folks that support the state flag need to realize it's going to change," he said. "It may be next year or five years or ten years down the road, but it will change and I think there's going to be some room for compromise with both sides to find a solution that everybody can live with. 

Malvaney's steps have taken him along way from where he first saw his reflection in a cup of coffee and he wants to tell his story as a inspiration to others. 

"There's people out there that maybe going through some tough, dark times and I've been there, believe me, I've been there. With some hard work and determination, a lot of grit and real focus and sticking with it you can get through those times."

Malvaney will be signing copies of his book Saturday in Bay St. Louis at Bay Books from noon to 2 p.m.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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