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Rogue’s Gallery third round

September 30, 2011

It is hard to believe, but it has been a year since the last class of the Rogues Gallery was inducted.  Just in time to coincide with the IgNobel awards, we are letting these ignoble members join the company of Kevin Trudeau, David Zinczenko, Jennifer Nicole Lee, Jillian Michaels, Dr. Alan Hirsch and the various exercise devices that we have lying about the floor.

There is no doubt about the inclusion of several of these new members, as at least 2 of them were highlighted in the Dirty Dozen of 2010, including Hiedi Diaz, the founder of the Kimkinz diet and Donald Trump, the name behind the Trump Network.  Others seem a little less obvious.  After all, what kind of a bastard would put the kooky and funny Kirstie Alley in a Rogues Gallery?  Well, I would.  As for Michael Casey… you could fill a room with the reasons why he should be in here… oh wait, we almost have.  Most of the exercise devices on that page owe their existence to Michael Casey, a man who has never seen an exercise device too ridiculous to peddle (at least judge from the selection of products he has sold).

Let me get down to the case for each of these new members and you can decide for yourself whether they deserve to be here.

HiediDiezHeidi Diaz

The Rogues Gallery was designed to hold people like Heidi Diaz.  She had no problem being the first person to snuggle up to the otherwise reviled Kevin Trudeau.  She duped people out of money, she lied about a diet that was found to be unhealthy and has since modified the diet and continues to try to sell it.  She asked people to send her cheques when the court ordered her Paypal account money because she claimed that was the only money she had.  She lied so often and so poorly it is amazing that she is not sitting in jail.  You can read about the whole thing here.  She is an unrepentant con woman who continues to operate her website, but now she has finally added the court ordered warning to her page.  It is in the barely visible colour of off-white on a white background.

Seriously, her own webpage says she has engaged in false advertising fraudulent business practices.  At this point if you are stupid enough to fall for her pile of lies you really are on your own…

The California Riverside County Superior Court has ruled in Jeanessa Fenderson, et al. v. Heidi Diaz, Kimkins, Case No. 483005 that Heidi Diaz and Kimkins have engaged in false advertising and fraudulent business practices. The Court found that Defendants Kimkins and Heidi Diaz aka “Kimmer” during the class period, (January 1, 2006 through October 15, 2007, hereinafter “Class Period”) have falsely represented the success of the Kimkins diet in that Heidi Diaz, as creator of the Kimkins diet, lied about her representations concerning the amount of weight she lost on the Kimkins diet. The Court also found that the “after diet” images promoted to be Heidi Diaz aka “Kimmer” following the alleged use of her Kimkins diet, posted on the Kimkins.com website and advertisements during the Class Period were not Heidi Diaz, but were actually misappropriated images of models who were used to mislead the public into believing that Heidi Diaz aka “Kimmer” was successful in her weight loss. The Court also found that Defendants, Kimkins and Heidi Diaz aka “Kimmer” used false testimonials on the Kimkins website during the Class Period to mislead the public as to the success of the Kimkins diet. The Court also found that Kimkins and Heidi Diaz aka “Kimmer” used misappropriated photographs of 41 models that were used with false testimonials on the Kimkins.com website during the Class Period to mislead the public as to the success of the Kimkins diet.

Michael Casey

I really don’t know what to say about this guy (other than the fact that I can’t seem to find anything about him online any more.  Seriously, when the Ab Circle Pro came out I was reading all about the millions of dollars of sales that Fitness Brands Inc was bringing in with Michael Casey at the helm, now the fitness brands website doesn’t appear to be working properly).  From what I can tell though, he is a business wizard.  Over the years he has improved his pitch techniques and he now stands alone in a class of infomercial giants.  I also know that he would find a way to edit the sentence above and use it for a testimonial for himself on his website…  Seriously, he produced this testimonial for the Ab Circle Pro:

As reported in the Studies for a Better World supplement to the Journal Gazette & Times Courier, “the researchers found that the Ab Circle produced equal or superior muscle activity vs. the crunch, side bridge and quadruped. The Ab Circle provided a highly efficient workout that addressed all core muscles simultaneously.” It also determined that an equal number of calories were expended when compared to treadmill walking. As summarized by the article, “the Ab Circle provided an efficient combination of muscle conditioning, and calorie-burning benefits all in one machine.”
Personally conducted reviews have also proven favorable. In Maxim’s Grooming Guide by William Buckley, he agreed that if your core is what you are focusing on, the Ab Circle Pro does just that. “This sets it apart from other cardio exercise like running or biking … ” he noted. “We noticed a definite increase in definition after 2-3 weeks using the Ab Circle Pro 5 times a week for 30 minutes a day.”
“Although we conducted our own extensive tests prior to marketing the Ab Circle Pro, it’s always great to have independent confirmation that we are providing a quality product and experience for our customers,” explained Fitness Brands CEO Michael Casey.

This may look like a couple of glowing recommendations for the Ab Circle Pro, but remember, this is the product that says you can have ripped abs in just 5 minutes a day!!  5 minutes.  Studies are showing that the Ab Circle pro is equivalent to Walking!!! A $250 product is equivalent in efficacy to walking!!! The researchers also found that it produced equal or superior muscle activity to the crunch, side bridge and quadruped…   Equal or superior.  If I remember correctly it was found to be equal to the crunch and superior to the quadruped…  Equal to the crunch…  The crunch is FREE!!  How is this independent confirmation of the the treadmill for your abs.  You aren’t going to get ripped doing 5 minutes of crunches or 5 minutes of walking… it is NEVER going to happen.  Further, the Maxim study group used the Ab Circle Pro 5 times a week for 30 minutes a day!  30 minutes every day for 5 days a week.  The best they can say is a they see a definite increase in definition… how is that even scientific, although asking for science from Maxim is pushing it.  The Ab Circle Pro is a piece of crap and the ads for it are in my opinion so close to out and out lies without actually telling a lie that the FTC should have taken action against them.  Although his website no longer lists his past products, but according to my past post:

Fitness Brands, Inc. (according to their website)  also made: The Ab Roller Plus*, The Ab Sculptor, Ultra Toner, Instant Ads,  Ab Shaper,Perfect Abs, The Ab Doer*,The Ab King Pro and The Urban Rebounder, producing more than 1.5 billion dollars in sales.  Apparently Fitness Brands Inc is the Justice League of ‘Ab’ devices (or the Legion of Doom depending on how you look at it).

Although Ab Devices certainly aren’t the cause of obesity in our society, they certainly have done nothing to help us get fitter.  For his unerring ability to profit off of this trend, I am welcoming Michael Casey into the gallery.

Rush Limbaugh

rush-limbaughRush Limbaugh has been featured a number of times recently this year for his insane rantings against Michelle Obama and her goal to make the children of the US a little less unhealthy.  I have no problem with anyone who wants to find fault with her program and suggest better ways to help kids or spend money or what have you, but what I can’t stand is that Rush Limbaugh is using misinformation and what appears to be pathetically sloppy reporting about diet and exercise to further his hatred of liberals (and probably women).  Seriously, he is proud that he has said this:

One of the reasons I know what I know is that I know liberals, and I know liberals lie, and if Michelle Obama’s gonna be out there ripping into “food desserts” and saying, “This is why people are fat,” I know it’s not true.  “Rush, do you really believe that? It’s that simple to you, liberals lie?”  Yes, it is, folks.  Once you learn that, once you come to grips with that, once you accept that, the rest is easy.  Very, very simple.

How can anyone listen to a man who has that as an explanation for why he knows what he does.  You may hate liberals, you may think they are all wrong, but I hope you do so because you have evidence that they are wrong.  Even a child can understand that it is backwards to choose the fact that you hate someone as evidence that that person is wrong.  I really was hoping that Rush Limbaugh kept his interests out of the obesity issue, but of course he couldn’t (here, here and here), so he ended up here, in the Rogues Gallery.

Donald Trump

Quite simply, Donald Trump put his name to a Multi-Level Marketing scheme that sells what could generously be called an affront to healthy eating as a healthy eating scheme. From the Dirty Dozen of 2010:

So, what is the product that the Trump Network is selling?

  • PrivaTest Custom Essentials – Nutritional Supplements
  • Silhouette Solution – Snack Foods
  • Quick Sticks – Botanical infusion supplements?!?!
  • Snazzle Snaxxs – More Snack Foods
  • Bioce – Cosmeceuticals – Skin Care Products (you have to know with a name like that I hate them already)

What you need to know right away is these are products that have been available in the marketplace for awhile and have met with limited or no success.  The entire MLM was originally called the Ideal Health Network before Trump put his name to it and was around for over ten years.

Here is what Quackwatch has to say about Privatest.

Here is what Janet Helm of Nutrition Unplugged had to say about Snazzle Stix.

A quick look at what Silhouette Solutions is makes me shake my head.  I cannot imagine a diet I would recommend less and a starter kit will cost you $1325!?!?!

I have no idea how the Trump Network is doing but as best as I can figure (judging from past lawsuits against Donald Trump), depending on the deal that the Donald signed with the three guys standing behind him, neither does Donald Trump (and I am betting I care more how they are doing than Donald does as well).  The man just rents his name out.  I am not kidding.  He is the Kim Kardashian of his generation.  I have yet to find something he won’t put his name on.  The thing that surprises me is why people are buying things with his name on them…  Why would I want Donald’s water, or trump tea or trump chocolate…   Now, Ivanka Trump having a clothing line, that I get.  In fact any line that Ivanka has I get.  How a woman that beautiful could come from Donald Trump is absolutely beyond me.  She is miraculous and whatever she has done to look like that I would buy.  If I was a girl I would buy clothing, cosmetics, hair products, you name it, from her… She is defying all of the odds.

Kirstie Alley

I hate to call Kirstie on the carpet.  She is a crazy, wacky woman who is great to watch and has a self deprecating sense of humor that is second to none.  Although Veronica’s closet was nauseating, Kirstie Alley is Rebecca Howe…  Her ‘I am a break evener’ episode of Cheers is still one of the best sitcom episodes in history!  Fat Actress was crazy and over the top and sometimes cringeworthy in where it went, but ti was incredibly funny and honest in the craziest way.  Of course I knew that Kirstie was a Scientologist and those people have some wacky ideas.  Apparently a lot of those ideas ended up in her diet product line.  She has a crazy line of diet products that don’t appear to do anything.  Really, I can’t find any way in which her drink works.  She claims that it reduces cravings but there is no reason to believe this.  It is just a way for her to make money.  You keep buying the drink and use the support tools on her website and diet and eat healthy and exercise and you will lose weight and she will make a fortune.  This really is the highest form of the knitting diet scam.  The knitting diet scam works like this.  You sell a product as part of a system.  You make money off of the product every month.  Your system requires exercise and healthy eating.  Whatever you sell in the middle has nothing to do with the weightloss, but when people lose weight exercising and eating well, you take the credit for the weight loss.

Kirstie has a huge fan base and I am one of them, but she is ripping everyone off with this USDA certified organic diet product.  The certified organic part has literally NOTHING to do with weightloss…  It is just another buzzword.  I have written about her diet here and here, but I could not and still can not critique her diet because there is nothing to it…  She is essentially selling Crystal Light with exercise and diet instructions and making a fortune off of it…  I don’t get it.  Mind you, don’t bother asking her to explain it.  In her video she uses air quotes around the word science… as if science is imaginary or maybe her version, ‘science’ is (the excerpt below is from my previous review)…

REBECCA HOWE: “Organic Liaison is founded in science, which is provided for you to inspect in our ‘science department’.”

ME: Could she be saying science in a more strangely dismissive manner?!?   It is like she is making air quotes while she is saying science…  It is appropriate that she is dismissive of the word science because her website doesn’t have the promised science section anywhere.  I guess maybe she was just hoping we didn’t notice.

Kirstie, I still like you, but I have to call you out for this roguish behavior.  I figure you would rather I did than stay quiet because that is just how you role!

So that is the current class of the Rogues Gallery.  The room is getting full.  I had to find a seat for Donald Trump, ironically a seat made by Michael Casey who is right behind Donald, a seat that was inducted into the gallery last year, beating its maker by one year…  Okay, that isn’t ironic but it is food for thought…

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