Marilyn: How would you describe yourself?
Cindy: I think a lot of who I am has to do with Vic's information having gotten to me when I was 16, so a lot of my formative years deciding who I was going to be as a human being were heavily influenced by Vic. He admitted at times that he had fallen in love with his own creation. He did realize that it was much deeper than that and it wouldn't really be accurate to describe it that way. It's not entirely true but there were elements in that. I'm just a little younger, a little less conditioned with the negative stuff of our society than he was.
The hippie movement and all that came with it got me less connected to that societal negativity. I came with the baggage of wanting to add good with everything I did. The combination of that attitude and the More philosophy has been very dynamic. It worked really well for me. It was a perfect fit. Those are the things that really make me who I am. These are the beginnings.
Marilyn: How did the hippie attitude and the More Philosophy interact in you?
Cindy: I think part of my personality is that of a flower child, although sometimes I thought I was sort of a violent, peace-loving hippie. The nature of that conflict got to me. I also had a lot of hate and violence in me that Vic freed me of and then the good stuff I started with was left. I used that. I combined his information with who I am and this is what I come up with.
Marilyn: What other early influences helped to shape you?
Cindy: I had an anonymous person as a child who every week would give me letters and gifts in the family mailbox and the gifts were all very nice, not a lot of money spent but a lot of thought was put into who I am and what would please me. For a long time we called the person who gave me these gifts, Mr. Peabody. Then it turned out it was my older sister Diane who had been romancing me anonymously since I was about three. Not knowing for a long time it was really Diane had a big effect on me. Then to hear Vic talk about anonymous good later, I thought, "I kind of get what you mean."
Marilyn: What were some other influences at play?
Cindy: In the early 60's we were living on a military base in South Carolina and there were a lot of horrible things going on then. We saw a lot of not very pleasant things, but it was very educational. Especially the whole thing of "respect your elders" and then to have black folks - Negroes in those days - step off the sidewalk and look down as I walked by. I was trained "you're my elder, and I'm supposed to respect you." It made for very weird experiences. It was conflicting information and it seemed to be the worst of humanity - not really the worst of humanity, but I got a glimmer of what it might be.
Then we moved to Long Beach in 1964. Watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show was the day I emotionally "left home". I was only about 10 years old and it was just a matter of time until I actually left. I felt very turned on and I got a way of thinking that helped to fill out the picture of who I was. I was just figuring that out. I just had a vision of where my life was going for the first time. It was going towards whatever it was that the Beatles captured - that feeling, that sense of hope and happiness and being alive and love.
Cindy: I liked The Diary of Anne Frank and Helen Keller.
I felt very aware of things changing for women as I was growing up. There was a women's movement slowly going on. I liked Katherine Hepburn because I thought she had a voice in current time. And Anne Frank in past time.
I don't have any historic figures as heroes except Margaret Sanger — she passed birth control on to women. I was mind blown to hear of women dying giving birth — by having so many children. That was terrible.
Marilyn: And how has this all come together for you?
Cindy: There's our group. Vic has given me such an opportunity, I feel so fulfilled. In a way, I don't have much else to do except to try to add to the world. I think I am very lucky that I have this feeling. It wasn't just him, it's the community too. It's his philosophy and the agreement of a group of people taking on that philosophy that makes my life what it is. I might be the communal expression of the philosophy. If I hadn't had all those things in play...
Next interview with Cindy: How I Found Morehouse