Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Catching My Breath

Well, it has been an eventful few days since I posted last. I do so very much appreciate the outpouring of love and support I have received. It has been literally overwhelming.

I haven't wanted to say too much, while I was laying low and waiting for some friends to finish doing what they had to do.

Actually, I still don't want to say too much. I feel like a Hobbit who has accidentally found myself thrust into an adventure I wasn't looking for, when all I really want is my cozy home, a lovely meal, and some pleasant conversation with friends and family.

Ah, well.

I will try to catch up here on answering some of the comments that have come in, while I think about how to address the bigger issue of why I left. I don't want to tell other people's stories, but I will tell a little of mine.


Lee said...

Hi, I hope all is well by you.I want a pizza!LOL! I suppose I'll settle for an Italian beef no bun please.


Becky said...

Lee - I'll fix up a nice big batch of Italian Beef anytime for you and Deb! We'll put on some nice music, pour a brew, kick back, and have a lovely chat about old times.

Seriously, I do miss you.

KimPossible said...

Kiss the baby for me! Hugs to you and yours!

Becky said...

Kim - All my grandbabies and 5 of my kids and 2 daughters-in-law and another friend (DDIL's mother) were here for our Labor Day cookout yesterday, and it was one of those special moments in time.

I will post photos of our feast as soon as my son emails them. I will see if I can sneak in a picture of Gideon somehow, too.

Alice in Kimkinsland said...

Becky, what is your responce to the comment left by Terry (re your "My Goodbye" blog entry), " "I just hope if there is anything members of Kimkins should be aware of you would let us know."

Secondly, what is your response to the "Legal Liability Questions at Kimkins" blog entry at Kimkins Exposed, which reads in part as follows: "The laws vary by state, but the internet is across state lines, thus anyone actively participating as a staff member on a website must do their due diligence to understand how the law applies to their circumstances and consider their liability should suit be brought either criminally or in civil court in the future."

Thank you and best wishes,
Alice Lewis

Christine said...

Becky - You've been a great example to me. I hope to continue to see your wonderful recipes here. I'm sure whatever you are doing is the best thing for you. I wouldn't want it any other way.

That being said, you will be missed!


spooker1 said...

hey becky,
It sure would be nice if all you
ex-admins. would be open and honest as much as you can with us who have been following this kimkins plan..what are the pros and cons..about this and what really happened to have you all leave at about the same time and please don't give me this line about the good lord and stuff we want facts.

robsweethrt said...

I see no reason why those who were leaders and have found reason enough to pull completely away, should not be honest with us all. Not for the reasons of MORE gossip, or for those who are just fueling the fire and have nothing better to do. But there are a few of us who joined this program because we wanted to simply lose weight! And now we are stuck out on an island and all those we looked up to who had the experience are gone. And we have been given no HARD evidence, just a bunch of speculations and hints.

I think we are worthy of the TRUTH. Plain and simple without the issues being danced around. We all know the speculations, but no real facts where those such as yourself can say "This is what happend and I have first hand knowledge of it becaue I was a leader there and I witnessed it"

Becky said...

Alice - Hi. I don't know if I know you or you know me, so I don't know quite how to take your questions. Forgive me if I am misunderstanding.

If you are concerned for yourself as a Kimkins member, I can totally understand that, and have said that I will speak as soon as I can compose my thoughts.

If you are truly concerned for me and whether I will end up losing my home or facing prison, as collateral damage in someone else's activities, well, then, I appreciate that, as do my husband and children, I am sure.

But, if you want to use me and other innocent people like me as pawns to further your own aims, please don't. We've had enough of that already, from both sides, thank you.

Alice in Kimkinsland said...

If the diet is dangerous please say so. If people are suffering side effects directly related to the diet please say so. "To whoever knows to do good, but doesn't do it, to that person it is sin."
James 4:17

Becky said...

Hi, Chris. Thanks so much for the good words.

Are you Chris I have talked to at TDP? If so, I'd love to talk some more, and find out how things are going for you. Please keep in touch.

Becky said...

Spooker - I do understand the anxiety and desire for truth. I have been in that place for quite a while, and still am. I agree that you, I, and all the other members and ex-members deserve it, and deserved it long ago.

Unfortunately, the one person who has all the facts isn't talking, and has repeatedly and flatly refused to do so. In the fullest sense, it is she who owes us these answers. It is unconscionable to me that she continues to let her members and her 'staff' twist in the wind while she shields herself in secrecy.

What people do not realize is that the site runs very nearly as a one-person business operation, with the flow of 'information' carefully controlled. Admins are such in title only, and have no decision-making authority. (And the "Meet Your Team" page means virtually nothing. I could say more here.) I and the other 'staff' who left (or who remain, for that matter) have no deep insight into the inner workings, no shared core of secrets. All we really have are our own impressions and opinions and interpretations of little things said and done here and there.

As to the situation precipitating our exit, there is no huge revelation --- just a great deal of legitimate concerns and questions receiving extremely unsatisfactory and downright disturbing responses and non-responses.

I have long privately 'pushed the envelope' there, trying in small but steady ways to moderate the more extreme views, to move the diet in a healthier direction, to provide actual care to the members, etc. As has been said, I did not see eye-to-eye on the diet or on how things were being handled, and we had numerous disagreements. I imagine I was a vexating annoyance, but a very useful one, so I was tolerated --- until I broke the unspoken rules. I broke the code of silence and intimidation.

I sent an email calling for open discussion of the controversies at hand, and copied it to all the other admins. (First time we all talked together, btw. Prior to this, in my opinion and experience, the MO there was to isolate, manipulate, and control us, by pitting one against the other.) A long string of about 30 or so PMs/emails flew among us, and once it got rolling we admins (cautiously) expressed our views, and (timidly) asked our honest questions, couched in diplomatic ways. We pressed for changes in the plans and practices of the site. The resulting responses were alarming, to say the least.

I do not know the ethics or legalities of posting excerpts of those sorts of communication. I also know that everything said hedged in such a way that it 'could' be interpreted some other way by someone predetermined to see things a certain way. All I know is that all of the admins went into the conversation highly motivated to find solutions, and almost all of us came out deeply troubled, not knowing whom to trust or where to turn. In our own ways, most of us began making our plans to 'escape'.

I am caught here between a rock and a hard place. Whatever I say will be 'spun' by both 'sides' and used against me and the others.
I do not know what I can say, legally, without being threatened with libel and made a scapegoat by one side, while being threatened with civil suits and criminal charges by my 'rescuers'. I may already have said too much. I feel like I am walking a tightrope without a net.

I believe I can post some of my own questions and points from the emails we all exchanged. You will see my concerns with the plans as written and as practiced there, and the adjustments I recommend.

As for the other, I can only ask, why should being on a diet support site end up feeling like keeping secrets in a dysfunctional, abusive family?

How is that healthy?

To me, leaving felt like it what I imagine it must feel like when someone escapes an abusive relationship.

I loved and still love the people there, though I know they will need to be subtly turned against me now. I understand that. No hard feelings.

I tried to 'run interference', but in staying too long to make positive improvements, I inadvertently aided what i believe to be practices I can in no way condone.

I am really sorry.

Becky said...

Robsweethrt - What I just said.

I completely agree we need truth!

One reason why those who were leaders might be hesitant to speak (besides being dazed and hurting and wanting to run away) is a matter of libel. For instance, if a blogger were to write that someone was perpetrating fraud, and it was not proven, then that blogger might be charged with libel. That might be one reason why some might not wish to speak.

Then, there is the whole issue of facing a situation so unbelievably bizarre, that either the facts or crazy or we are. It is easy to doubt your doubts in that case.

I wish I had more facts and hard evidence, really I do. I do think some facts are out there, if people will be objective, though I see what looks like jumping to conclusions on both sides. Still, if an individual will not be forthcoming with basic, simple, easily-verifiable information, then speculation and investigation is all that is left.

I have my recollections and experiences, and a few little bits and pieces of communication saved here and there, and reliable reports from others of their own communications and experiences - and a sick feeling in the pit of my gut.

What did I or any of the leaders witness as an eyewitness? Well, nothing through personal visual contact. Ever. Despite opportunities and invitations for personal meetings and web-cam conferences.

What do I believe? That either dozens of good people with nothing to gain are conspiring to lie ---- or that one person with a lot to lose is.

I think there are enough reliable individuals who can give testimony concerning that.

I am convinced to my own satisfaction that things are seriously very, very wrong. Seriously very wrong, on many levels. I am convinced enough to have taken painful, personally costly action.

I have told every Admin and potential Admin who has asked me to do the same

I would tell any member who asks the same thing.

However, I know that many might feel they have reasons to stay, mostly to be with friends and to keep losing weight. I do understand, and I do not judge that. I also understand that we all have to cover the gap from Point A to Point B at our own pace and timing. We're different in how we deal with things.

But, that something that ought to be a simple non-issue is even this big a deal at all is weird enough, really, to tell you the answer.

I understand the desire for privacy. That is normal ---- to an extent.

But, I also understand the need for personal disclosure and connection in human relationships. Most of us have a basic understanding of natural affection and loyalty.

So, when I see a situation in which someone is believed and trusted least by those who ought to know and trust them best - well, it does not speak well of the trustworthiness of that person.

When a person leaves behind a long series of damaged and discarded relationships - well, it does not speak well of that person.

When someone is not only willing but skillful at protecting themselves while exposing those around them to harm - well, that is just plain wrong!

I wish I knew how to be more helpful. It stinks all around. I stayed for the sake of members who either blame me for staying or blame me for leaving, or for speaking up or not speaking up.

I say what I say for your benefit. If I don't say more, it is because I don't know yet know how or what.

Just realize - whatever plan you choose to follow can be followed elsewhere, too. It is the member support, not the URL, that make it work.

robsweethrt said...

Becky, You gave me exactly what I was looking for. I felt this WAS the answer, I just wanted it confirmed I guess.

Thank you so much for placing the last two post.

VernsWifeVickie said...

Becky, you are walking this thing out with such grace, class, and integrity....it makes me proud to know you. {{{HUG}}}

VernsWifeVickie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

robsweethrt - I think many people are in your spot, 'knowing' at some level but not wanting it to be so. It's not an easy spot to find yourself in, and it's just a shame all around.

I am glad you asked the right questions. Blessings on your journey.

Becky said...

Vickie - Thank you. Coming from you, that means a lot. I admire your strength of character to hear all sides and to stand for what you believe in.

Audrey said...

I have been following your blogspot. Thank you for your honesty! I am new to Kimkins and I basically just wanted to view the plans. You mentioned in one of your posts that there are other support diet sites...can you disclose them? Also, what changes in the plans did you recommend? I would like to talk to you by email if possible.

theTRUTH said...

Becky, some very reasoned and polite responses here. Let's all try not bo rude to Becky in our quest for information. It is Kimmer who denies us theTRUTH. Let's give the former Admins some space and let them regroup and organize their thoughts. I am personally in a position where I totally believe, trust, and respect these three, but am having trouble leaving myself because I have more weight to lose, it is working, and I have friends and others still there who inspire me with their successes and lack of problems.

I watched Kimmer sanitize the site yesterday before my very eyes, and eliminate anyone and everyone asking questions, along with said questions. I am heartbroken by the lies, and I am begging for the truth as well. Becky or Christin or Deni don't have the answers as to whether the diet is safe for you and I to continue, and the one who does, isn't talking. I am doing my own research and playing it by ear. I'll stop if I run into problems, but this diet is the first thing I have found where actually believe I can reach goal. Now, whether I can do that without health side effects is seriously in question suddenly. I am scared and lost like many others. Can Kimmer be separated from "Kimkins"? Is a diet espoused by a fraud automatically a fraud as well? I just don't know. We all want to know. Are those pictures Kimmer? If so, I don't care what she looks like, I do care HOW she got that way and I care what she says and does. Did her diet cause her metabolism to be permanently damaged? Yes we are losing weight, but some TRUTH might help folks from some serious damages to their health, and that is a criminal travesty IMHO.

Doggygirl said...

Becky, Cudos to you for continuing to handle your situation with dignity and style. When you think about it, how many of us have experienced leaving a company due to integrity concerns (or any other concerns) completely in the public eye of the internet? How many of us would be prepared to publically handle all the questions and speculations from so many people - mostly complete strangers? How many of us would just "know" with confidence what is OK to say, and what MIGHT lead to problems?

Becky, I'm sure you had no idea you would end up one day in this position. Congratulations for handling yourself so well.

Again...I hope our paths cross in the future.


Diana said...

Hi Becky,

I got your e-mail and hope to respond in more depth this weekend, but I just quickly wanted to say here that you have lost 90 pounds yourself, and you've shown tremendous compassion, wisdom, and grace under pressure. When you're ready to start your "Winnkins" site, I'll be a charter member.