Saturday, September 8, 2007

Kimkins Cult Mentality

The Kimkins controversy is heating up to epic proportions all around the net. Check out these wonderful blogs to get the full story.

Anti-Kimkins
Kimkins Exposed
Kimkins Dangers
slamboard
Why the Fascination with Kimmer?
ALC's Kimkins Debate Thread
Kkatastrophe Diet Blog

I have always had a problem with the Kimmer constantly equating her "diet" with WLS. Sure there are people who have WLS who still get stuck on the whole calorie thing. Too many still believe cutting your calories to the bare minimum is okay. It is still the dumbest thing I have ever heard of and only sets them up for failure later on. I lost my weight quickly too. Never worrying about counting calories. I ate all the time. Every 2 hours at the least. I never kept up with the calories with Fitday or some other program like it. But I can guarantee that I was taking in over 1000 calories a day. The only time I probably wasn't getting in that many calories was very early on like the first few months. But that's not the reason for this post.

I have thought for a long time that the Kimkins followers acted like they were brainwashed. So I did an Internet search on "cult mentality". Here are some things I found. See if you think Kimkins sounds like a cult to you or not.

(1) Cult members are “focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.” The leader is a strong-willed, domineering character who rules the group with tight control. He lets it be known in subtle ways that he is “in charge” of the movement. He makes the plans, he orchestrates the movements of the group or groups (sometimes he exercises his sway over several groups). He dispatches the workers, assigns their chores, etc.

Frequently, they even begin to imitate his mannerisms in terms of voice inflection, language patterns, aggressive attitudes, etc. They become “clones” of their esteemed leader. It is not uncommon that the leader knows of weaknesses or past problems of people with his group. Thus, through subtle intimidation and fear he keeps them under his control.

(2) “Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged,” and there can be pressure or social punishment when there is disagreement with the “boss.” Those who disagree are made to feel as though they are stupid or inept. They are brainwashed with the notion that they do not have the knowledge or experience to question the leader.

Younger people are particularly vulnerable to the leader’s “gift of gab,” and his feigned expertise. No matter how radical the leader becomes in his decisions or actions, the cult members will not criticize him. Even if there should be mild disagreement, no specific expressions are voiced. The members reason that though he may be mistaken in some of his judgments, yet the overall good he accomplishes outweighs any minor flaws.

Members are taught to “rationalize” the conduct of the leader in matters they have always “considered unethical before,” under the guise that the “end justifies the means.”

(3) The leader “is preoccupied with [raising] money.” There is always a need for increasing finances. New projects are ever in the planning. Members are strongly encouraged to greatly sacrifice for the leader’s current “pet” enterprise. There is little pressure let-up; members of the group must be kept “revved up” on a continual basis.

The cult leader always takes the major credit for the movement’s accomplishments. Members become psychologically dependent upon him. “What would we ever do without our leader?,” is the cult mentality.

(4) The cult leader generates within his members “a polarized” mentality. His people evolve an “us-versus-them” mentality. Little-by-little he criticizes other groups with which his members might tend to associate, undermining confidence in them, attempting to discredit anyone who could have influence over his “flock.”

Cult members become suspicious; they imbibe the critical disposition. No one is really as “sound” as “we” are. We are an “elitist” group. And so, seeds of isolationism are sown. The movement leader discourages reading any material, examining any ideas that he does not generate. He seeks to control the inflow of knowledge relative to “his group.”

(5) The cult leader has a clearly defined “anti-authoritarian” disposition. Within the context of the church, for instance, he would have an “anti-elder” attitude. Elders would be recipients of constant critical remarks. No cult leader would affiliate himself with a congregation having elders to whom he must be in submission. “Control” could not be maintained in such an environment.

(6) Cult members are seen occasionally to take on a new personality. They begin to act differently. They become increasingly antagonistic to family members and long-time friends. They may even boast that, “I am not the old [name] that you used to know; I am a new person now.” And indeed they are. They have become strangers to those who knew them well. They have been transformed into the image of their leader.

I don't know about y'all, but having read all the controversy and witnessed the heated exchanges of the leader and her followers with "nonbelievers", Kimkins can definitely be classified as a CULT.

After you have taken the time to learn all the info behind this---then get involved and go sign the online petition. Request for Kimkins Investigation Petition

18 comments:

DietKing2 said...

Bamagal,
Again, great post because you hit something here I haven't seen really addressed or talked about during the 'Kimkins' fiasco, the cult-like atmosphere that swirled around the thousands of emails slung back and forth across cyberspace. It's so telling and so sad how upset both followers and non-believers, desparate to do something about their weight, got so sucked in and crazy over this whole ideal.
Good writing!
Adam

BamaGal said...

Adam, thank you
The biggest problem I see with those following Kimkins----they are solely focused on the weight. That is extremely short sighted. I mean what kind of life is that. They were willing to do whatever it takes just to lose weight, only making their health suffer in the process.
I see that mentality too often in the WLS community. Many(not all mind you) say they had the surgery to make their health better, but in reality it is all about the weight loss.

Jimmy Moore said...

Yikes, that's some scary analysis you've posted there, Bamagal! EEEK!

DietKing2 said...

You're right about that--I think we as a society are stuck on looks and numbers--especially scale numbers--I know I keep trying in my mind to use my daily weight measurement (after my morning pee-pee, of course;-) as a mere guideline, but I, too sometimes fall into the trap of focusing too much on those numbers--you are correct when you say it's got to be all about good health first.
Adam

BamaGal said...

Jimmy---thanks for stopping by

Adam---check out Jimmy's interview with Adam Campbell---that pic of the guy who only lost 7 lbs by the scale--but he looks like an entirely different person.

Thin and BMI in the right range does not equate to good health.

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Excellent post, informative and, well, scary.

And thanks for the link. I signed the petition. I hope a solid investigation is forthcoming that leads to the KimKins organization's demise. That plan is just a tool to breed eating disorders, imo.

Mir

mariasol said...

I just now saw this great post. I made a similar post to my blog on Sept. 23rd: http://mariasol-mariasol.blogspot.com/2007/09/kimkins-cult.html

2big4mysize.wordpress.com/ said...

scarey and true. the lies and fraudulant lengths Kimmer went to on Kimkins.com to control the members is staggering

2BIG

Kat said...

Friends don't let friends do Kimkins! Remember that cover girl on the WW Mag? Well, she learned the hard way about Kimkins and it's dangers!! Read her blog and decide for yourself.

http://the-journey-on.blogspot.com/

OhYeahBabe said...

Great post, thanks! Say no to Kimkins!!

Stop the fraud! If you were a member of Kimkins, join the Kimkins diet lawsuit! Here is how to join the Kimkins lawsuit. It's easy!

Kat said...

Now that you know the Truth...Join the Lawsuit!!

http://kimkinslawsuit.wordpress.com/

Kat said...

Boycot Kimkins in 2008!! Wanna know why? Go here to start and then read all the blogs:

http://www.3fatchicks.com/Diets/Diet_Articles/Kimkins:_Anatomy_of_a_Diet_Scam/

wackytobeme said...

BamaGal, you rock! another excellent thought provoking post. Kudos to you.

Kat said...

This is one of the key players in the fight against Kimkins and I think you should read her blog...don't foget to search the webring too and see the other great info about this SCAM!

http://honeybeesblog.wordpress.com/

Kat said...

The "Tim Worstall Tabloid Edition" says:

November 12, 2007
Kimkins
Kimkins, or the Kimkins diet has been shown up to be just another scam on the unsuspecting.

Heidi "Kimmer" Diaz, the founder of the Kimkin's diet - a low carb, low calorie diet - is schedule to appear in a Southern California court on Monday, November 12th, 2007. 11 former users of her Kimkins diet program filed a complaint against her one week ago, claiming fraud, false advertising, and unjust enrichment.
The Kimkin's scandal began when Woman's World, a popular women's magazine featured an article on the Kimkin's diet.

Ms Diaz, who was claiming to have lost 198 pounds in 11 months using her diet plan, refused to meet with the magazine in person, instead corresponding through email. She went so far as to send the magazine before and after pictures that looked nothing alike, which makes sense when people found out that the before pictures were Ms. Diaz, however the after pictures were taken from a Russian 'mail-order' bride web site.

The kimkins diet advised eating just 500 calories a day. That less than concentration camp victims were getting:

Kimkins diet followers reported hair loss, menstrual cessation, irregualr heartbeat, fainting spells, and liver damage from the starvation diet scam.

No damn wonder! Let's hope she's jailed where she can get a decent diet!

Kat said...

Happy 2008 All...Don't become a stastic of the Kimkins Diet Scam in 2008. I have faith in people and I know that there are a lot of people out there that will do the research and find the horrors of the Kimkins diet, the bannings of "lifetime" members for no reason other than to take their money from them, the no feedback from Kimmer herself on the site as promised and the dangers of the starvation diet that Kimmer (Heidi K. Diaz), who never even lost the weight herself, promotes. Ban Kimkins in 2008 and find a free and safe diet site to support your weight loss efforts in 2008. The year you will succeed WITHOUT Kimkins starvation diet!

Kat said...

Get The Word Out…
I recently took up the cause to “get the word out” about Kimkins.com and the dangers of following this very low calorie diet. Don’t be fooled. Do your research! Kimkins.con is nothing more than a low fat, low carb, low calorie, unhealthy starvation diet that is causing Eating Disorders (EDs) and hair loss in many. This diet was started by a lady who calls herself "Kimmer" and never even lost the weight herself on her own diet. Kimmer even charges $59.95 for her unhealthy starvation diet and offers a “lifetime” membership that gets you banned from her website if you question her about her diet or after pictures. Friends don’t let friends do Kimkins!! Be smart in 2008 and lose weight the right and healthy way!

Kat said...

Kimkins.com is a very dangerious diet that promotes Eating Disorders (EDs), hair loss and other health problems in people who follow it. This diet was started by a lady they call Kimmer who never lost the weight on her own diet let alone any other. Kimmer’s real name is Heidi Kimberly Diaz and she has set up a site for the specific reason to Scam and take money from people, NOT help them lose weight. Friends don’t let friends do Kimkins!!