The following are excerpts from 3 days of exchanged emails.
July 31, 2007, 7:06 pm
I'm writing quickly because today is "social worker day" for the boys and they'll be here soon. It's a lengthy process and I won't be back on for a few hours.
Address the Issues
First, let's understand who the naysayers are. Many are the old crowd at LCF who are anti-Kimmer to the core and, frankly, seem bored so this is a great "keep busy" activity.
The catalyst behind all of this is Amy (Cutie) who got banned here and 183,921 times at LCF. She sent numerous emails to be reinstated which I refused and then she contacted my former partner, Catherine. She is the only person who knew Catherine's last name or email addy which she got because she asked Catherine for a quote for a website.
Amy sent me her last angry email to be reinstated at Kimkins. I refused. Two days later we began getting website "views" from Malta, the island where Catherine lives. I check tracking pretty carefully and we never had any views from Malta prior.
Catherine didn't know about the magazine. Once Amy told her and Catherine saw the member stats -- and no longer being a 50% partner -- the anti-Kimkins campaign kicked into full gear. Didn't Catherine's husband post their estimate of Jimmy's affiliate earnings (which were way wrong BTW).
This is all about $$$.
They figured by getting Jimmy out of the way (Amy, Catherine and the LCF naysayers), we would be $$$ hurt and have to fold up. I don't want to say Jimmy's earnings were insignificant, but their absence will have no effect on the financial stability of Kimkins whatsoever.
Kimkins is financially solid. We don't depend on anyone and we don't accept advertisers for exactly the "Jimmy" reason. We do what we want to do and don't cater to the whims of letter writers.
Don't ignore the issues? I disagree. Ignoring has worked which is why the anti-Kimkins blogs now have the "Open Letter to Kimmer". Amy can't stand to be ignored and her bully tactics didn't force a response from me. I've addressed their health issues a zillion times at LCF and here. They aren't looking for answers, they want to point and say "see, see."
Blogs Popping Up Everywhere
Yes, they are. Take a closer look. They are all from the same group, head up by Catherine or her husband. Catherine runs a home medical transcription site with a monthly fee and a web design business. She missed out on Kimkins profits from the magazine, so this is her way of recouping income. Since these blogs have nothing to do with "concern" for fellow human beings, they aren't going to go away no matter what I write or explain.
Notice how many anti-Kimmer blog posts have to do with "Kimmer's getting rich," "She's making millions," "The Kimkins Marketing Machine," "Kimmer is building an empire," or "She's taking money from poor people who can't afford it," (although it would be fine if they spent their money at Weight Watchers). The way to hurt my imagined fortune is by affecting sales so they use scare tactics.
I disagree about replying to the naysayers because there is no end with those people. Amy won't be satisfied until Kimkins is offline. Did you notice she posted immediately after me on Jimmy's blog of his "dropping Kimkins" announcement? She got what she worked for and couldn't wait to congratulate Jimmy.
From a business standpoint the controversy has been good. Sales have been up 17% overall since Jimmy's blog post (BIG sales day that day) and that includes today with the plethora of "Kimkins will kill you" blogs.
This is all about money. If I were still doing this for free, nobody would blog about anything.
Aug. 1, 2007, 9:56 am
Sorry for the delay, "Social Worker Day" can be difficult for the boys. Summer is very active for summer placements in foster care. Two unrelated boys thought their parents were working hard on completing requirements for them to go home in time for school to start. One parent has done nothing and the other parent can't be found. A third boy was invited on a day trip to Tijuana but leaving the country is absolutely forbidden by courts and he's crushed. I already knew he couldn't go, but he needed to hear it from an official source. I needed time with the boys after the social workers left.
Photos & Medical
What if we ask members to post their medical results? Christin, Suzanna, and a recent member whose doctor said OK to Kimkins AND a prescription laxative come to mind. Assuming they are willing, it can be an item on the front page "Kimkins & Your Doctor" or something.
We can ask members to blog about Kimkins, but that seems a weak position. Our affiliates with blogs provide some balance. When I blogged about the Teachers Challenge losing 907 pounds in 5 weeks, Catherine's husband couldn't bury it fast enough with his anti-Kimmer blogs.
Amy and Catherine's husband can spin it however they like (starving and laxatives), but all I'm suggesting is someone take a regular dose for 1-2 days and then a 25-50% dose each day after. The member who's doctor prescribed a laxative (which is stronger than what can bought over the counter) and to take full strength daily.
We have teenager as members, but I don't know that they are teenagers when they join. Emails I receive of "My 15 year old daughter ..." (or any age), I politely refuse. I don't mention specifics because that seems to give people more incentive. I tell them Kimkins is strict and their child would have more success with a diet that offers a wider food variety to make it easier for them around their peers, etc.
Low Calories/Pro Ana
We are low calorie after ketosis kicks in or with the shake option, but those calories are identical to post-WLS patients (500 cal a day for months), original Optifast and Medifast (450-700 cal a day for months).
I don't think we can fight the "1200 calorie a day mentality". Some people cannot understand that your body takes the calories it needs from body fat if the calories you eat are too low to sustain current weight. If you need 2500 calories (250 lb person) and eat 500 (number picked for easy math), the other 2000 are taken from body fat.
In Jimmy's interview I meant what I said about take a Weight Watcher or Jenny Craig meal and remove the starches. What's left? Kimkins. There is no health advantage to adding carbs or extra fat, so why is removing them (and having less calories) dangerous? 1200 calories a day is an arbitrary number (like 8 glasses of water).
Anorexia is a psychological disorder. Do we have people with ED on Kimkins? Of course. I weighed 318 pounds and you don't get that big without an improper relationship with food so I have an ED. But low calories aren't an ED, otherwise all of the WLS patients would be medically classified anorexic.
What if regular Kimkins changes guidelines from 0-20 carbs to 10-20 carbs and 0-3 cups to 2-3 cups List 1? Then again, I'm stuck with what to do when you're not hungry. Forced eating sounds ED to me. I'll find someone I trust to make a Recommended Supplements list.
If we make changes it will be announced with the Maintenance Plan (which will be a work in progress from member feedback). The announcement will be general and not in response to any outside pressure.
BTW, I asked Aliyar (tech support) to take the stats down from the homepage 4 days ago. Magically, no visits from Malta in the past 3 days.
August 1, 2007, 1:58 pm
A 13 year old in chat? No way! Not OK ever. Please all/any of you let me know so I can talk to the account holder and tell them "nicely" about no kids and probably refund/cancel.
I'm sure I could find a doctor. It honestly never occurred to me before the controversy. I'll make sure the doctor knows what he/they are getting themselves into.
Becky, I'm reading your email now, so I'm adding my comments here:
Thanks for your well thought out comments. Of course I don't agree with everything. You've laid out a lot of info and I won't go into all of it now, but here's a basic summary.
I cannot support a twisted version of Kimkins that turns into a mini-South Beach.
I'm not ignoring the needs of the members. Worst case scenario if we're forced to stopped operating, is a separate forum-only site will be set up for paid members todate. I'll pay the expenses for that forum, but I won't post and there won't be any frills (no chat, no PM, no ???)
SNATT - I can understand, although the symptoms of ketosis are covered fully in Dr. Atkins' books, including nausea. We are adding a few things to Kimmerwear and Christin can replace SNATT items with those. Anyone with heart palpitations, fainting or other serious conditions should see their doctor of course, not post on a forum asking for advice. There is nothing about removing carbs to cause those symptoms.
August 1, 2007, 2:55 pm
Amy/Cutie is a youth pastor. That has me scratching my head.
August 1, 2007, 4:21
Becky and all -- Chat continues to be a problem. What if we take a Chat Break for awhile? I know it desperately needs maintenance. ;)
Becky, I'm not ignoring your comments. Just asking for feedback on chat. It's a HUGE drain on resources and may eventually need it's own server.
August 1, 2007,
I disagree about WLS and Medifast. WLS patients regain for the same reasons people on all diets do. They still have psychological needs for favorite foods and stop the 500 calorie program. Even with a stomach opening of .75" diameter they can eat milkshakes, sugar cereal & milk, chips, alcoholic drinks, cheese, mashed potatoes & gravy, candy, etc. Both Al Roker and Carnie Wilson said in TV interviews that they started gaining because they went back to their old eating habits.
I cannot and will not say anything about minimum calories. A grilled chicken breast and a 1 cup USDA serving of mixed greens is 200 calories. It just is. Adding fats or starches isn't "healthier" to up the calories.
I'm not against all fats, why do you think that? I encourage minimal use of fats. All protein is at least 25% fat, plus butter, salad dressing, olive oil, cheese and other fats that are allowed on Kimkins.
Photos - I will not add new photos or explain of current ones anymore than I have. There is not end with this. I told the publicist that a new photo wasn't a good idea (just I told Jimmy that the interview wasn't a good idea). Both insisted and I was right. I didn't want a photo at all and I'm still leaning in that direction.
Medical Boards/Dateline - I'm completely unconcerned. If Kimkins is sued, it won't be me in court. I have no legal connection to Kimkins. I'm not the blithering idiot Catherine and others think I am. There's no sinister reason for my secrecy. I'm not a felon on the lam. I am a private person because I want to be. I write articles under pen names because I want to and have for 23 years. With all the hoopla and probing, shouldn't people be coming out of the woodwork who "know" me? Nope. No one knows who Kimmer is.
Cruise - What a "relaxing" 5 days that would be. Staring, photos, whispering and full blog exposes when I return ... not to mention sitting across the table from Jimmy. And don't forget the stalkers. I never considered the cruise as a personal safety issue before.
Anti-Kimmer Blogs - I know there are more than Amy and Catherine's husband. I had quite an anti-Kimmer following at LCF.
K/E Limit - Hmmm, this is possible. What about 2-4 weeks? But then we have the people who hate veggies and won't move on but that's their choice.
E-Book - I'll be honest, in view of recent events and everyone's comments the eBook will be different than what I wanted. Some sections will be omitted including personal stories I've never talked about.
Maintenance Plan - I'm working on it. Every day seems to bring new time consuming challenges that suck hours out of the day. I'll get 'something' up. It will be simple. It will need revision.
August 2, 2007, 12:25 am
Just as I'm not a doctor, I'm not a lawyer. I would STRONGLY encourage anyone who is concerned about liability in this situation to contact a local civil attorney.
For Kimkins there could conceivably be an issue of liability in tort ... once they get through jurisdiction, causation in fact and proximate cause. As I've mentioned, please don't be concerned on our behalf.
As to whether any of you can be held liable, you cannot -- but I'm not a lawyer so ignore me. None of you are Kimkins employees or partners and that is key. Most of you are contractors or affiliates, and barring those then volunteers. None have liability and the rules of agency or indemnification don't apply. But ask a lawyer, please.
Separately, if anyone has concerns in this area I fully understand. If anyone is interested in resigning as moderator or any other position -- no hard feelings!
If I sound flip, I apologize and that's purely unintentional. It's only that if I have one more "well meaning" person email me about concers for my legal liability I'm going to scream. It is a non-issue for me, no matter what my association. If it is an issue for any of you, I understand. Please seek legal counsel.
My outlook is different because I probably grew up differently than most/all of you. I have different way of looking at things and what I hold valuable.
Again, if anyone isn't willing to take a bullet for Kimkins (and why on earth should you), no problem at all. :)
In a later email, I asked if she had an attorney check into her and our liability. I also asked if she had any sort of insurance policy against damages to protect the moderators (whom she had said were all contractors or volunteers). Her reply:
"However, contrary to popular belief we don't have unlimited funds and the site is fairly expensive on an income/expense ratio. We need to spend wisely. Our liability insurance covers employees which doesn't include contractors."
My comments -
That Kimmer would agree to discuss this at all, and to include us all at once was unprecedented. I felt that meant she was feeling the heat. I almost could not believe that she had made that misstep, in that we now had each other's contact info apart from the PM system, so we could actually communicate privately with one another.
Rereading these emails, I remembered how wary we moderators were (or at least I was) wondering what was 'safe' to say, or who could be trusted.
It may be impossible to pick up just from what I have posted here, without the surrounding context, just how deeply unnerving and horrifying this was to watch unfold. In my experience, Kimmer normally doles out information, misinformation, and false information like the proverbial carrot and stick to manipulate and co-opt, and plays one person against the other to isolate and control. In this joint session at this time, I think she felt a little cornered and panicked. She mostly maintained herself as cool, calm, and collected, but the more we went on, the less she could hide sudden swings and flashes of paranoia, gleeful gloating, and blindly callous self-centeredness. She said some things that showed her true colors and maybe accidentally let a little too much truth slip out. Though none of it rises to the level of irrefutable evidence in a court of law, it added up in my mind to an accidental acknowledgment of willful ongoing fraud.
I began cautiously emailing a few other of the moderators, testing the waters, and wondering if they saw it the same way I did. That they did you can see from their subsequent actions. In fact, they began mentioning other little things that added to the pattern of willful deceit.
Have you ever seen or heard something that seemed a little 'off', but you didn't have a category or reference point for it, so you sort of dismissed it, filed it away until something else came along to make sense of it? I began remembering things that had nagged at me in the back of my mind. I do not have a saved record of these things, but I could testify to these under oath:
- Catherine's tentative, wary remarks to me in Chat back in the very early days about how odd that Kimmer sure typed a lot for someone on disability for something like carpal tunnel, and later, asking if I had heard anything about some Kimkins spam on Craig's List, because something funny was going on.
- About six months later, Kimmer's chuckling about putting off a request from Mary Smith (Cartbabe) by saying something about having to ask her 'partners', and how Mary did not need to know that the 'partners' were just a loose term for whoever happened to be around, like her son or some other relatives.
- Much later still, when Christin and I were scrambling to enter recipes into the new software for the site move and realized we needed to include images to be able to save the recipes, Kimmer suggested we scour the internet, saying "I am not above 'lifting' images! LOL"
Again, I do not know how these words read to outside observers, out of context, but I do know that to those of us in the conversation, the message was unmistakable.
I have procrastinated pushing the 'publish' button all day, just sick to my stomach with grief. I feel I am betraying Kimmer and bringing turmoil to Kimkins members. I have no desire to do either. Kimmer was at times good to me, and I have lost weight successfully on her plan (my version of it, anyway) at her site. I was happy at that site. I cannot forget or fail to be thankful for that, and my loyalty makes me want to see everything in as kind a light as possible. However, I also cannot betray those who have suffered negative consequences from her plans, and I absolutely cannot be a party to what I now believe to be criminal misconduct.
So, here goes.