Charles Taylor claimed to have started the revolution in Liberia with three hundred dollars and a cell phone. He paid off 20 thugs to escort him around the country with the three hundred dollars and used the cell phone to call diamond brokers around the world (including, apocryphally, De Beers), promising them lucrative diamond contracts in exchange for more money, with which he hired more thugs.

During an interim period between a revolution in Liberia, another revolution in Sierra Leone and a second revolution in Liberia, Charles Taylor was held in a maximum security Boston prison, only to make a daring escape as associates of his blew up a section of the prison's wall.

Charles Taylor first used a body guard of South African Neo-Nazis, PLO terrorists, Israeli mercenaries and Lebanese drug dealers. Then he decided that all these groups were untrustworthy and founded the "Small Boys Gang", composed of children between 4-9 who were orphaned by Taylor's troops. These kids were raised by Taylor himself, and given machine-guns with which to protect Taylor. The legend states that Taylor threatened particularly recalcitrant war prisoners by telling them he would turn them over to the Small Boy Gang and "let the boys play with you".

Charles Taylor invented the procedure of cutting off the arms and legs of villagers that were presumed to oppose him. "You supported the government," Taylor's soldiers are rumored to have said, "and now you have no arms and legs. Go to the president and tell him to give you some arms and legs."

For a short period of time, Taylor was a Baptist preacher and motivational speaker.