I literally stumbled over the Magic Chicken Diet a couple of weeks back. A web search for Kimkins led me to Getafreelancer where someone was soliciting a web designer to make a website that should look like a clone of the Kimkins website. Having heard rumors that Kimmer had a backup site prepared, I was naturally intrigued.
The website and the diet had many similarities to Kimkins but also differences. Probably the most important difference is that to the best of my knowledge, the Magic Chicken Diet is promoted by a real person (Bonnie Luper) with a real weight loss story. Therefore, the fraud component of Kimkins should not come into play and as far as I know, nobody has suggested that it would.
I and other bloggers have been criticized for discussing the Magic Chicken Diet and have been accused of crucifying the Chicken Lady and driving the site out of business. (Of course, it was later revealed that the temporary shutdown of the site was most likely due to a non-paid bill and not due to any magic powers on Kimmer's behalf; Kimmer supposedly having found out about the clone from our blogs.)
While the site is again up and running, we are still not supposed to discuss or criticize the diet, as "it's free enterprise and anybody has the right to promote any diet they want". While I agree with free enterprise, I can not understand why we are not allowed to discuss it, especially in a community that argues pros and cons for all types of diets. With so little information up front, would you not want to hear what people knowledgeable in nutrition and diet have to say about it, if nothing else so that you can ask Bonnie questions before you shell out $69.95?
It is also alluded to that we will somehow interfere with the Chicken Lady's business by talking about the Magic Chicken Diet on blogs and lowcarb diet boards. This puzzles me.
First, if this is a good diet like Bonnie says, surely, discussing it will not cause any harm. Actually, it would only help promoting it.
Secondly, what facts are there that this is a successful business? That Bonnie claims that they have reached 200 members at the old introductory price of $19.95 while the website still states "introductory price (but now $69.95) for the first 200 members?" Do they have 200 members or not?
And how are new members recruited? Similar to Kimkins, Bonnie has a Lifetime membership so only new people coming in would generate revenue. There is absolutely no marketing of this company that I have been able to find, even when trying to search for it. Nothing on Craig's List, nothing on "Yahoo answers," no spam on celebrity sites, no articles, no ads, no affiliate program, no presence of Bonnie on lowcarb boards where she could attract new customers. It just doesn't make sense to me.
Apart from the Getafreelancer ad, there is no confirmed connection between Bonnie and Kimkins at this time. However, does that mean that I am not allowed to have questions about the Magic Chicken Diet?