In November last year, I wrote a post where I speculated that the Kimkins admin Gary was a sockpuppet. At that time, I thought that Heidi and/or Brandon were posting as Gary. I have since been informed and convinced that a person "Gary" exists.
Gary doesn't display a lot of personality and I suspect he plays a "fictional character" and that not much he says on Kimkins is true. He has been a staunch Kimmer supporter since he first showed up on Kimkins and nothing about the controversy has changed that.
In my opinion, that means that Gary still qualifies as a sockpuppet.
A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception within an Internet community. In its earliest usage, a sockpuppet was a false identity through which a member of an Internet community speaks while pretending not to, like a puppeteer manipulating a hand puppet.
In current usage, the perception of the term has been extended beyond second identities of people who already post in a forum to include other uses of misleading online identities. For example, a NY Times article claims that "sock-puppeting" is defined as "the act of creating a fake online identity to praise, defend or create the illusion of support for one’s self, allies or company."
The key difference between a sockpuppet and a regular pseudonym (sometimes termed an "alt") is the pretense that the puppet is a third party who is not affiliated with the puppeteer.
Gary showed up on the Kimkins scene in early June 2007. He immediately became a "diet guru" and cheerleader on the site. The avatar he posted does not look like the 56 year old he claimed to be, neither like someone that needs to lose 100 pounds (which he subsequently claimed to have done in 5 months without any problems along the way).
While Kimmer is desperate to post success stories on her website and in newsletters, there have never been any "after" pictures of Gary.
There is a Gary Fontaine in Southbridge, MA close to where Gary claims to live (CT). I don't know if this is the same Gary Fontaine but they share a lot of non-favorable characteristics. The MA Gary Fontaine is the person on the right in this picture:
This picture is from February 2006 when this Gary Fontaine was president of the Southbridge Lion's Club and likely also the Gary Fontaine who is a Lieutenant in the Southbridge Police Department.
Lt. Gary Fontaine was put on administrative leave in 2005 and a local reporter had plenty to say about him: Sheriff Glodis’s payroll amazing
- Lt. Fontaine acquired $148,000 in cash to buy a Sturbridge restaurant. No evidence of wrongdoing was found, although questions about where the money came from weren’t answered.
- Lt. Fontaine’s cell phone number was found in a safe during a state police raid in 2000 on Sonny’s Place in Southbridge that turned up $18,000 in cash, credit slips from poker machine payouts and telephone numbers linked to a man who had been charged with operating an illegal gambling business.
- Lt. Fontaine has said he saved the money but never put it in a bank. He said his phone number was in the safe at Sonny’s Place because he was friends with the owner.
- In an unrelated matter in 2001, the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission pulled the liquor license for Lt. Fontaine’s pub, saying he continued to operate Tarragon Restaurant despite being told he had no valid license. He later lost the business after the ABCC refused to give him a license.
- In February 2005, Lt. Fontaine was placed on paid leave by Town Manager Clayton R. Carlisle, who said only that the action was “pending an investigation into issues that have come to the town’s attention.” While on leave, Lt. Fontaine has been paid more than $72,000 to date for doing absolutely nothing.
Admin Gary being on administrative leave would also explain why he has so much time to post on Kimkins. And while he still may receive pay as a police officer, extra money from Kimmer is surely welcome.