Saturday, April 11, 2009

When Social Networking is Social Contagion

OK. Those of us who have been part of the Kimkins saga have come to expect the unexpected. Once we got over the staggering shock of her shadiness and the depth of her duplicity, we came to see that Heidi Diaz simply knows no shame.

I think she really does believe her own stories.
I think that, in her own Etch-a-Sketch way of thinking, she has shaken the screen of her mind to erase and redraw the beginnings of Kimkins, so that all those years of painstakingly crafted and vociferously protected lies were just a tiny well-meaning marketing blunder from "just a housewife" with no business experience.

From her revisionist viewpoint, she was only trying to help poor fat people when she was viciously betrayed by a sinister cabal of jealous and greedy ingrates. Simultaneously, though, she considers herself a shrewdly superior businesswoman who will outsmart and outlast us all.

I'll say this much for her --- she's tenacious!

Most of us would have crawled away in mortification or just plain old good sense long ago. Not her! She has bluffed, blustered, barefaced lied, blogged, blamed everybody but herself, battled in court, and now she is blasting all the social media trying to trump up new business for as few bucks as possible.

She has had blogs on and off, as herself and under other identities, for some time now. She had her Kimkins newsletter, too.

She spammed Craigslist and Freecycle pretending to be a bunch of different people in a bunch of different towns.

She spammed Yahoo!Answers and under different guises to plug Kimkins.

She plugged Kimkins at other kinds of forums under different names, too.

She wrote pro-Kimkins puff pieces under her own name for viral article sites. I guess she has been learning about branding.

Then, with action at Kimkins dropping to almost nil, she started beating the bushes by sending past and present newsletters out to what seems like everyone who had EVER been on her mailing list, including many she has already banned from her site. I get them. My husband gets them. He never even joined Kimkins. We've both unsubscribed --- it doesn't matter. We still get them.

Then she must have signed up for a course in marketing via social media or something. She has dabbled in MySpace before, but this time she seems seriously determined.

She's all over MySpace. *yawn*

Then, she invited me to add her as a friend on Facebook and join her new Kimkins group.
*Yes, me --- you know, one of the ones she tried to sue for a million dollars a few months ago? Right!*
No way! Stay outta my Facebook, lady!

Yesterday, she sent an email saying she was following me on Twitter.
*So, you know, follow her back by clicking on the button? Sure, like that is going to happen!*
Please, lady, back off! Don't follow me on Twitter, or anywhere else for that matter.

So, tonight, my HUSBAND gets a LinkedIn notice that Heidi Diaz has joined LinkedIn and is looking to make connections.

Heidi Diaz

Owner, Kimkins

Greater Los Angeles Area
Health, Wellness and Fitness


* Owner at Kimkins


7 connections

* My Website
* My Blog
* My Blog

Public Profile

Interested In

* consulting offers
* new ventures
* job inquiries
* expertise requests
* business deals
* reference requests
* getting back in touch

Somehow, that was the last straw for my husband. He reported her avatar to LinkedIn as misrepresentation, and told them to do a Google search about the Kimkins law suit.

Yep, she's tenacious!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


As an former San Diegan, I miss In-N-Out Burger. *sigh*

Here in Texas, I've tried Sonic and Steak 'n Shake, which are probably fine establishments in their own right (or not), but nothing has come close to In-N-Out to me. Especially on a low carb diet, (or any kind of diet, for that matter), the breaded and fried fare at Sonic or the larger-than-life menu illustrations of mega-deluxe milkshakes at Steak 'n Shake are just about deal-breakers that make those difficult places to dine wisely.

This week I tried something that almost --- but not quite --- comes close. Mooyah is a small local chain that seems directly modeled after In-N-Out. Same concept of a small menu of burgers, fries, shakes, and soft drinks; same emphasis on fresh beef and hand cut fries; even the same red and white color scheme.

On the plus side, Mooyah offers a bigger list of condiments to add for free to customize your sandwich. They offer a choice of American, cheddar, or swiss cheese, and also have whole wheat buns for the asking. The atmosphere when we were there seemed calmer and friendlier than In-N-Out, and the service was speedy.

What I went for was the very aptly-named Iceburger, which is the burger of your choice nicely done up in a generous wrapping of cool crisp iceburg lettuce leaves instead of a bun. In-N-Out offers this under the prosaic label of "Protein Style" on their 'secret' menu, but I think Mooyah may do a better job with the lettuce wrapper, and the name is more clever. (In my opinion, this may be the world's only legitimate use for iceburg lettuce.)

On the negative side, Mooyah costs more than I remember paying at In-N-Out. The thing that really aggravated me, though, is that they do not list or publish any nutrition info that I could find. They do not make it easy to know exactly how many calories, carbs, fat, sodium, sugar, points, or anything people on various diets or with certain health issues might want or need to track. That seems pretty backwards to me.

Plus, well, it's just not In-N-Out.

Nice enough, though --- I'll be back.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Back At It

I guess it's time for me to get back to my blog in some fashion, so this is a post just to get me back in the groove.

I started this as a weight loss blog, mostly menus and recipes, along with some observations about my discoveries along my journey. I had never quite reached the goal I had set for myself, which may have been an unrealistic one for me anyway, but I looked and felt pretty good, and just needed to shape up and rearrange things more than I needed to lose much more weight.

Then the Kimkins bubble burst, and dominated my life for a long time. Too long, really, but such is the way of the legal system.

For me, it was never about "getting Kimmer", at least not in the sense of revenge, though I am not sure I will ever "get" her in the sense of understanding her. I am still amazed by her utter gall, her callous disregard of others, and her complete disdain for the truth. It is as if pesky minor things like reality, morality, and authority are there for timid little mortals to obey and superior beings such as Herself to either ignore or twist to their advantage. I think that the part of the human soul that houses natural affection and conscious is missing or broken in her. It seems her heart is without feeling for others and full of regard for herself. Whether one calls that sociopathic or reprobate, I don't know. I just know she is not 'normal', as she herself admitted in email to some of us as well as under oath in deposition, when she said she just doesn't think like other people do. Truer words were seldom spoken --- at least not by her!

Anyway, when I began to realize she was . . . well, whatever she is, I was hurt, confused, angry, ashamed, afraid, bewildered, all of that and more, for how she had lied to all of us, including me, and used me to deceive and possibly harm others. It was a lot to sort out and process through, and it weighed heavily on me. I wanted to understand, to uncover the truth, and to reach out to those still at Kimkins with what I was finding out. I made it my mission to try to undo the harm I had done, to UNsupport Heidi Diaz and Kimkins with as much energy as I had supported it before. I had been placed in a position of responsibility, and I wanted people who had trusted me to hear from me that I was wrong, that "Kimmer" was a fraud, and that the diet had no safeguards built in and was harming people.

I knew and cared for the people at Kimkins. I respected them, understood them, shared their hopes and dreams and fears. As I spoke out in various ways, a great many heard and received what I had to say, and many left Kimkins, and some started blogging and being activists against Kimkins.

It was a crazy time with lots of strong personalities involved, and emotions ran high. I vehemently disagreed with the approach some anti-Kimkins people were taking, considering it counterproductive to getting people out of Kimkins, as well as just plain wrong, and said so, poorly. For my frustrated criticism, I was slammed, slandered, and mocked severely, like someone had declared it open hunting season on Becky. I don't suppose there is much point in rehashing all that now, though I desperately wanted to defend myself at the time. It really hurt to read so many mean and false things about myself, with mistaken timelines, miscribed motives, misdirected suspicions, and a lot of maliciousness. The whole thing created a rift in the anti-Kimkins movement, and a lot of people dropped out of posting and blogging after that. I acknowledged my error, took my medicine, kept my mouth shut, and dropped out of the public eye pretty much, in hopes that things would settle down and move forward. I felt that my reputation and credibility had been undermined too much for me to continue to speak out effectively to the people of Kimkins. Too bad --- I had lined up some good stuff for my blog before this happened. Since then, I have blogged only a few times, mostly when John Tiedt has called with important news for public distribution. I did feel regret that Heidi Diaz might think that her stupid counter-suit silenced me, when it really just made me want to say even more, but our own side had already shut me out and shut me up before that. It eventually got to the point where I felt as if every word I posted anywhere was so scrutinized that I just gave up posting online altogether.

I am an open person; I have not lived a secret life. I have been well known in real life by hundreds, actually thousands of people, many for decades, and am liked by most of them, respected by many. I am flawed, sometimes foolish, but well-intentioned, caring, and honest. I took comfort in realizing that the people who REALLY knew me didn't believe the accusations about me. I heard from many who were completely supportive of me and upset by some of the tactics of a few outspoken anti-Kimkins forces, but were afraid to speak out, lest they be the next target. I also took comfort in assurances that those most deeply in the know about the Kimkins case, including John Tiedt, knew every detail about everything, and still believed in me and trusted me.

It was rough being targeted by Heidi Diaz, having her lie about me to her members and slander me in her fakey blogs, having her admins dig up every post I ever made anywhere, having her try to sue me for a million dollars. With good reason, I believed her to be dangerous and capable of almost anything. It hung over me all day every day as I was working to undo Kimkins and helping to build the case against her, knowing I could be called to testify against her in court, and that attacking me and my credibility during cross-ex was her likeliest tactic. Having some of the anti-Kimkins people also attack me and accuse me was even rougher. It not only stung, it also curtailed my effectiveness and had the potential to undercut my credibility in court.

The odd thing I found most disconcerting is that both Heidi Diaz and those leading the attack on me (and also on some of my good friends) went out of their ways to target Christians and to mock us for our Christian faith. In fact, many of the people in the big middle of this who got slammed by both sides ARE Christians. I have to wonder --- Why? What drives that? Why all the scorn and anger? Speaking for myself, I feel like I did not go around preaching my faith to everyone everywhere, and I did not claim to be perfect; however, my beliefs shape who I am and how I think and what I say and do, and I certainly am not ashamed of and will not deny being a Christian. Why was that even made an issue?

Over the last 15 months or so since then, I have seen more than a few anti-Kimkins people attacked by other anti-Kimkins people. I have seen good people who had been valuable and effective allies completely silenced by infighting. I have seen things splinter and then splinter again into factions and eventually almost peter out. That is a pity for those driven apart or offline or underground, who have lost the comraderie they once enjoyed, and also a shame in the fight to keep anti-Kimkins info out in front of the public. Our loss --- Heidi's gain.

In the end, though I do not suppose the people involved meant it for good, I am thankful for the harsh attacks on me, because they helped me examine my heart, repent of my wrong focus, and redirect my priorities. I placed what I had been doing in the Kimkins case into more capable hands. It turned out to be a good thing for me. I have a sweet and rich life, happy and fulfilled and full of wonderful friends and family.

Like many people, I gained a little weight when I left Kimkins, mainly because I was freaked out and didn't know what to do. It bothered me a little but it wasn't too bad. I stepped up the exercise, stated drinking more water (you know, all the things Kimkins told us we didn't need) and I was doing fine. Then, due to muscle weakening, I had surgery in October, and my recovery did not go as well as expected. It's no big deal, and I am returning to full function finally, but between the starchy diet I had to follow at first, plus the meds, plus the limited mobility, I regained some more weight. I am still not nearly as big as I once was, thank God. but I have no intention of remaining this big, now that I can return to exercising.

So, I may return to blogging about life and weight loss again, as I originally intended, since I need to lose this regained flab.

I may even, from time to time, blog about the Kimkins mess, for two reasons:
1) I am in this until the end, whether I want to be or not; I cannot walk away yet.
2) The world still needs to know to Say NO to Kimkins.