Saturday, May 24, 2008

How So Many People?

A long time poster on the Low Carb Friends message board wrote a very moving and heartfelt statement regarding her own journey into the disaster of Kimkins, to which another person posted this question:

“How many people did she do this to?”

That is a question that so many have toyed with. It is often coupled with another question: Why would so many people allow her to do this to them? Please hear me out as my statement may not resonate well with some of you, but hopefully by the conclusion of this post I will have clarified myself enough that you will at least consider what I’m saying.

I don't think SHE did that to anyone. I think most of us who are overweight have thoughts of "what if I just ..." on a pretty regular basis.

What SHE DID was she played on those thoughts and encouraged people to act on them. She pretended that she had done just that, that it had netted her fabulous results without negative consequences. She presented information with confidence which gave her credibility. When people would start to act on that thinking and would eventually start to have negative reactions (SNATT, fatigue, heart palpitations, hair loss, etc.) she would either convince them that those things were normal, short lived and without lasting consequences or - and the or is important here - or that they were experiencing those things because they were somehow not doing it “good enough”. Not counting perfectly, too big a finger pinch of lettuce or whatever. In many diet programs you are told to be sure to measure peanut butter, fat-free mayo or salad dressing by using a knife to remove any "extra" that might be mounded up. So, what she said wasn't all that foreign, just was taken to extremes. She also started with portions that are smaller than what our bodies need to thrive. Thanks to a movement in the prepared food industry – restaurants and fast food eating places in particular – to increase our consumption, we have long ago lost sight of what IS a proper portion. We just know that what we eat now is too much.

Enough of those extremes added together and you have problems. Couple that with, of course, advice leading to laxative use/abuse, suggestions to misuse Retin-A, and other devious instructions and you have a virtual Molotov cocktail in your hands.

Evil does that - it takes our human frailties and desires, targets those, massages them until they feel good, then drags us deeper and deeper into dangerous waters, sort of like the whole frog in boiling water thing. In that example you can place a frog in pan full of cool water, slowly bringing the water to the boiling point. The frog will acclimate himself to the increased water temperature, eventually cooking to death in the process, all the while oblivious to the danger he was in. While the frog had the ability to escape danger – he could hop out of the pan – he hadn’t the mind too.

The same can and does happen when it comes to things like marital fidelity, prosperity gospel, violence in television programming, music and video games, etc.

All through Scripture we are compared to sheep. What does that mean for us? How is it relevant to THIS conversation?

Well, sheep are very social creatures. They don’t like being alone. They will go wherever their group goes without question because staying together is quite important to them. An entire herd of sheep have been known to do things like walk into a raging river, because the sheep bringing up the rear would rather be in a dangerous spot with their friends than to stop and risk being alone. In fact, those rear sheep are totally unaware of the fact they are walking into danger at all, because they don’t recognize that those who have gone ahead of them are already beyond saving.

Sheep stray easily. They may become so enticed by scrumptious looking plants at the bottom of a ravine that they will work very hard to get down to it to eat it, then stand there wondering (but not particularly stressing at first) how to get back out because they have no sense of direction. They don’t know how they got there, how to get out or where they should be instead!

Sheep are dumb. They can’t be trained to do anything. Now, as people we CAN be trained, either by God, by others or by ourselves. But we still are really good at making poor choices. We reason our way into messes. We are easily seduced because we believe the three basic lies that were told way back in the Garden: 1. God didn’t really say that. 2. If God did really say that, that’s not what He really meant. 3. If God did say that, and did really mean that then God can’t be trusted – He’s just trying to keep you from something good and enjoyable. (Read Genesis 3:1-7) We learn to believe those lies at a very young age, by the way, and while we may TELL ourselves that we don’t believe them any more, our actions and choices prove otherwise.

All of this to say that it is our basic human nature that makes us susceptible to people like Heidi Diaz. It is my opinion that she is evil personified, driven by her own lust for power and her own lack of self esteem, lacking in remorse or conscious. Thankfully she is not the norm in our society. Sadly, and dangerous to the rest of us, she draws to herself others of like mind, who may not be as skilled as she is, but who find the illusion of power they get from being her cohort intoxicating. What they don’t realize is that they are merely tools to her, and quite disposable when they no longer serve her purpose. Perhaps they become her sacrificial lambs in her quest to save herself. She will have them undertake the tasks to risky for her to take, making them the targets of outrage and perhaps liability.

How do we defend ourselves against people like Heidi Diaz? I don’t know that we can 100%. By staying solidly within the reach of our Shepherd is the best protection I know of. Even at that, though, evil can and does entice us, by fooling us into believing that our Shepherd is the one who led us there. Learning His voice is vital. I firmly believe that is one reason we have been given written revelation – The Bible- so that we can test things against an unchanging voice that isn’t as easily manipulated as our inner voice.

The only other thing we can do is learn our lessons as best we can, do our best to stop each such person as we become aware of them, and warn others as much as they are willing to listen.

Until next time ….

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Will the real CrispyBread please stand up!

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive” – Sir Walter Scott

Spider Web

Funny thing about webs--they have a beginning and they have an end. Regardless of how much of a mess they may appear, with enough patience one can always follow each thread back to its beginning.

The identity of CrispyBread has been positively confirmed.

And the winner is ..... Gary Fontaine!

Many a mystery is solved through a chance encounter or a chance word when combined with deliberate, methodical thought. That is precisely what leads to the demise of CrispyBread.

TRUTH and I were talking one day, musing over the many machinations of CrispyBread when suddenly I realized that a particular pattern of thought was ringing a bell. These rants about how the ducks are so worried about the few thousand at Kimkins when the real enemy is the government – they sounded so familiar to me. Well, it took very little to confirm that as the battle cry of none other than Gary—lasttime4me—or Mr. Argyle as he is known to some.

Here he is at Low Carb Friends:
You ladies are trying to save a few thousand individuals because they purchased a diet plan online? Why don't you take your energy in suing the government that showed you how to get fat in the first place by eating 8-12 servings of complex carbohydrates each day, adding HFCS to your foods and to eat a low fat diet. This is a bigger scam. Now that would be a lawsuit and you will be able to save generations not just a few thousand ladies from a lady who lied a few times.

This is CrispyBread responding to a post right here on this blog:
All anti-kimkims bloggers should really be concentrating all their anger toward the U.S. Government for publishing a false food pyramid decades ago. They are the real scammers not Kimmer. We believed the government and ate low fat with high carbs and look at where the Nation is now......OVERWEIGHT. Millions of peoples lives have been ruined because of our government. Go help them and not a few hundred others who are Adults and choosing to eat low-carb with Kimmers help. That is their choice not yours.

A similar post by Gary in the kk forums:

Re:NO CARBS 4 Months, 2 Weeks ago
Great job XXXXXX. Keep up the good work!

The government made us all fat by introducing the food pyramid years and years ago. Pretty sad if you ask me. They got it all wrong. You may want to get the a great book called The Protein Power Lifeplan by Dr will open your eyes on the low carb way of eating.

Continued success!

Here is more fodder – while not specifically mentioning the food pyramid, the conspiracy theme is apparent:

Re:Gary's Progress Report 10 Months, 2 Weeks ago
I finally made it to TWODERVILLE to day. I have not seen that in years and years. I know now that I can attain my goal if I am doing what I have been doing over the last month.

I really thought I would never be able to attain my goal because my food addiction was so great. I was blaming my self but recently I have been reading how all the food, drug, and diet companies work together to make and keep you fat. The food companies add high fructose corn syrup to so many products and they know the body can not process it easily and it is stored as fat. The diet companies come out with products that promise you to lose weight and lie about the ingredients on the packaging and know that it does not work. In the meantime they know you will buy their next product so they develop a new product under a new company name which won't work either. The drug companies do the same thing - wonder why there is not a miracle pill to supress appetite and help one lose weight. Anyway, I have eliminated high fructose corn syrup from my diet and use natural sweetners instead of the man made one. I shop in an all natural food coop for most of my food. I don't have to spend a lot of time reading labels because there are so few ingredients in the products. I kinda went off the topic of my weight loss overnight. Sorry. I wil stop waffling.......

Have a great day.

Follow up to that last one:

Thanks for your comment. I am reading a book now by Kevin Trudeau who claims to be a secret covert operative for almost 20 years. He supposedly knows from his own experiences how big business and the government try to debunk individulal who promote products that could hurt the profits of giant multinational corportaions. He claims he worked for a company that were creating weight loss products for the consumer and everyone on the board was overweight. He also claims he got the true secret to lose weight from a Dr that came up with it years ago to cure the rich who were getting fat. It will probably be an interesing read when I get a chance to sit down and read it.

The answer for us is Kimkins. But I like to read what is out there.


As a side note: We find his reference to the board members being fat humorous, considering who he works for!

Anyway, once we realized that CrispyBread was likely Gary and NOT Heidi, we set out to prove it one way or another. Thanks to the contributions of Christin and Becky, as well as Tom from LCF, and just plain old hard work, we have been able to prove beyond any doubt that CrispyBread is in fact Gary Fontaine.

Rest assured that all information which was used to determine this fact as well as all specifics pertaining to the horrendous and libelous website he was directing us to has been forwarded to the proper authorities.

Gary, there are no words to describe the sense of satisfaction that we derive in knowing you will be held accountable for your participation in this fraud being perpetrated by Heidi Diaz.

You lie down with dogs, you get bit by fleas.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Kiss of Death


Does becoming a feature story in the Kimkins newsletter or a front page model equate to the Kiss of Death as far as someone’s Kimkins experience goes?

Does Heidi Diaz, owner of Kimkins, warn her testimonial candidates that they will come under close scrutiny – not only by other members of the Kimkins website, but by anyone interested in the legal actions being taken against Heidi Diaz? I mean, warn them beyond “You might get some nasty IM’s”?

Does Heidi Diaz advise her testimonial candidates that she herself forwards her newsletter each and every month to many, many people on the “outside” of Kimkins, including several people she refers to as “Ducks”? Does she tell them that it isn’t necessary for those she calls “haters” to come looking for folks inside Kimkins, as she herself provides that information to them -- directly to their personal email boxes? Surely Heidi realizes that she is exposing her members to these risks. Does she warn them?

So, what does happen to people who become the current public face of Kimkins? For one thing, they allow themselves to fall into the spotlight. By virtue of allowing their stories and their photographs to testify to the effectiveness of Kimkins, they are also representing that Kimkins is a safe program and that Heidi Diaz is a person worthy of collecting the monies of people who are desperate to lose weight.

Consider Christin and Deni, former members who were featured in the Woman’s World article that lured many of the current Kimkins members to the site. Neither of them is there any longer. Both are involved as principal parties in the ongoing civil litigation against Heidi Diaz and Kimkins; both have requested very clearly that their story and their likeness no longer be associated with Kimkins, or be used in any further advertising or promotion of the program. Yet their photos and stories can still be found in numerous advertisements on the internet. Heidi claims ownership of those photos and stories based on her terms of service and permissions given at the time of original use.

How about Heather? Remember Brian and Heather? What happened to them when they asked to be removed from the front page? (See the bottom half of this post for Heather’s story in her own words.) I find it fascinating how Heidi responded when they opted to not get involved in her legal problems, declining to sign a affidavit endorsing her plan.

Some, like swalt, will be allowed to stay on site, but at what price? Ask AmyB. She tells her story here.

Heidi Diaz doesn’t really care what happens to you after she has been given the story she needs. She no longer needs you to actively promote her business – she already has you, regardless of whether or not you continue to endorse the diet. That is one reason why so many of the past people who were asked to step into that spotlight (or offered to step in it themselves) are now blogging about the reality of their experiences. Many, like deedlynn, LauraLa and AmyB - highly respected people within the Kimkins community – have been exposed to the truth of what Heidi Diaz has done and who she really is. They have seen with their own eyes the words she has written or had others write on her behalf. Their conclusions have been that they value their own integrity too much to allow themselves to be used to promote a fraudulent business. Unfortunately, because of their prior support and affiliation with Heidi Diaz, they fall under intense scrutiny of those working hard to provide information vital to the demise of Heidi Diaz’ operations.

Heidi coaches people to be sure and talk about how they felt before joining Kimkins, whether they were lonely, ashamed or resigned to their overweight condition. She explains that allows people to relate to them. In other words, it plays on people’s emotions – drawing them in and giving them hope. In many cases it takes a great deal of courage for people to be willing to even put their story to pen and paper, as writing those feelings down actually can cause one to relive painful past moments. There are instances where individuals who would be too timid or reserved to reveal so many personal details if left up to themselves have been encouraged by a stronger personality to do so. They ultimately take the risk of that exposure in order to please one who represents a friend to them, and one whose approval they have come to depend upon. That person could be Heidi, or perhaps another well intentioned friend. They may also become convinced that it is their obligation to reach out to others, not realizing that they are exposing themselves to scrutiny. Then, when they realize who Heidi is and what she has actually done, Heidi attempts to use that information to intimidate and dissuade them from speaking out against her.

There have been a handful of people who, once they realized the outside attention they were getting, asked to be removed from the front page. Why would that be grounds for banning? I don’t know. But it has happened, on several occasions. The provided excuse is always violation of TOS.I guess they failed to read the fine print in that TOS that states, “Thou shalt not speak against Heidi Diaz, Kimmer or Kimkins in any venue, and management reserves the right to follow you everywhere in order to enforce this rule.”

It is my fervent hope that people will count the cost before they step out and do what Heidi Diaz herself has never been willing to do. Ask yourself why that is – why Heidi, rather than honestly write about her weight loss struggles and encourage people with her personal and private details instead chose many years ago to take on an imaginary persona, with a totally fabricated weight loss success story, bolstered with photos heisted from obscure websites. For all of those years she denied the truth. She continues to deny the truth today. She continues to fabricate and embellish. She continues to speak ill of her own members behind their backs.

One last thought on this: Does Heidi, perhaps, only use people on the front page, or her newsletter that she considers expendable? Is being asked if you would be willing, or being allowed to be featured the equivalent of the Kiss of Death?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Calling CrispyBread and Kimkinite101

Back in February, I carried on quite an informative conversation with both CrispyBread and Kimkinite101 as a result of my question “Why Do You Support Heidi Diaz, aka Kimmer?” If you two don’t mind, I’d like to carry on another conversation.

For the matter of setting the record straight, would either of you be willing to identify yourselves as you are known on the KK website?

I am wondering, CrispyBread why you have turned so mean on the Fascination With Kimmer thread on Low Carb Friends. I can understand the frustration that comes from feeling misunderstood as well as the passion that drives intense conversations. I don’t understand the need for the vitriol you have display in the last few days. Would you help me with that?

Have you actually had conversations with Sam Redman? His interest in this entire ordeal has appeared to have waned. Have you information to the contrary?

I also am wondering how you both perceive the defections that appear to be happening, particularly that of those who appear on the KK front page or newsletter as success stories.

CrispyBread, you seem to really want to talk about the FDA and the federal food pyramid and guidelines. Let me tell you that I share your opinion – we have been lied to repeatedly, much to the detriment of the health of our population. Why should that fact absolve Heidi Diaz from culpability for promoting an eating plan that is considered dangerous by most health practioners?

The two of you were kind enough back in February to help me gain some perspective on all of this. I’m hoping you will both do so once again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Draw

Cleochatra asked the following question on the Fascination with Kimmer thread yesterday:

“OK, so what is the draw to Kimkins today, May 12, 2008?

We now know that Kimmer did not have success with Kimkins because when the detective nabbed her she was morbidly obese.

We know that the plan is nearly impossible to maintain for any period of time, is based on plans which already exist and are meant for folks with metabolic resistance, and not as the means to long-term weight loss.

There is no maintenance plan.

Many have suffered frightening side effects.

The Better Business Bureau rated the plan/company an F.

The much-touted e-book ended up being an email.

This plan is so messed up that even though it originated at this board, these threads continue as documentation to the lunacy of Kimkins as a purported long-term, healthful diet and show it to be dangerous, lacking in nutrients, and as not necessary a successful plan, based on the plan's 'originator'.

In short: of it can't work for the person now in litigation, how can people realistically believe it will work for them? Even Dr. Atkins lost weight and kept it off!”

Clea, look at it through fresh eyes.

If you have never heard of Kimkins or Kimmer or Heidi Diaz, you stumble upon an advertisement and follow the link. You are met with a webpage that looks professional, has success stories, all the links lead to more success stories and a blog that is often full of good sounding information and encouraging words. You have tried every way you can think of to lose weight and it just doesn't happen. You are desperate for an answer, and here is this slick looking site. Why not? You've paid that much or more for stuff advertised on the midnight infomercial ... what's one more try?

What these people don't realize, and Dee doesn't consider, is that with the other things you've dumped your money into you haven't gotten the support you do with Kimkins. Well, Dee does realize that part. She’s repeated it over and over again. The problem is that support grounds you in this dangerous plan. While you may have been suckered before to buy stuff that is equally dangerous, you have never had the intense encouragement to actually implement it and keep at it REGARDLESS of the side effects, like SNATT. You start losing, your family and friends notice, you encourage your own mother and daughter to follow the plan, you ignore symptoms and you don't realize that all those "haters" were actually RIGHT until you are in SO deep. Now you have your ego in the mix.

Think about all the people who lost literally 30-60% of their hair and STILL kept (keep) at it! Consider the people who had (have) heart palpitations who were willing to still go back. Hmm ... I wonder where LauraLa is today and how she is eating now?

Anyway, Heidi managed to create an environment of acceptance and support that speaks far louder than common sense and self preservation. I guess that support IS self preservation in some cases. Many people have dealt with so much ridicule, judgment and discrimination for their weight – often at the hands of those who are supposed to love and accept them the most. Many more have hoisted upon themselves so much self-recrimination that they can hardly stand up under the weight of that anymore. Suddenly, they find a place where that isn’t allowed, at least initially. And not at the hands of the other paying members, certainly. It isn’t long, though, before the person they long to be accepted by (and her hired hands) uses that recrimination to keep them entrenched in the whole ordeal. People learn that if they behave, they are loved on. If they misbehave they are taken back to an uncomfortable place – the place where they are destined to stay fat, unloved and unacceptable. I honestly believe these folks who so adamantly defend her don’t picture her in their minds as the rest of us do. We see the woman depicted in the video from the deposition, smirking into the camera, asking if it is “too late to take that back”. Many of us play back in our minds the words she said over and over again about not wanting it bad enough, etc. only NOW, we see the words coming from the morbidly obese, smirking Heidi Diaz rather than the beautiful, svelte Kimmer. The woman saying she does not believe that her paying members are entitled to know that she has never lost the weight she proclaimed she did. The woman saying that lying about her program, her own weight loss, and the success of others on the program is all justified in the name of business. The Kimmer (or Kimmers, as DeeDLynn is so determined to call her) they picture and believe in is a fantasy – a character of Heidi’s own creation. How sad for them they day they actually come to grips with that fact. They spend their time on that board talking to a made up person. Someone who doesn’t exist in real life.

I’ve often wondered what Heidi gets from these folks once she has already gotten their money. The answer is POWER. Much like the power an abusive mother wields over her children, often well into their adulthood. She is a sick, warped Pied-Piper of sorts.

Such a pity that she didn’t use her gifts and talents for good, for the actual betterment of humankind.