In a Nutshell ...
A comment on another post by SJ pretty much nails the starch angst pervading the low carb webosphere on the head:
A couple of paleo/primal dieters mention that they're eating potatoes and it's the g*****mn carbocalypse. Why is it so upsetting to these people that some people feel better when they eat a bit of starch?
Let's presume that is not a rhetorical question and answer it. This behavior is explained by the fact that somehow carbohydrate restriction has become a religious cult, with all the trappings thereof. All the lost suffering souls who found solace and redemption after reading Good Calories, Bad Calories in the Church of Taubes. It makes me very glad that in 2007 when I decided to try one last time to shed the weight I did it on my own, telling nobody but my immediate family that I was even doing it, and just going from memory doing a pretty clean Atkins induction. The Church of Taubes sucks you in. For all their knocking of Weight Watchers, the Church is a virtual group where your voice is heard, you are accepted unconditionally and you find all the love and support you've been missing from your conventional-wisdom-steeped doctors, friends and family. In 2009, after losing the weight, I found LLVLC forum. There are a lot of very nice people there supporting one another in their weight loss efforts, extolling the virtues of low carbing, assuring one another that carbs are like rat poison, insulin is the devil hormone and Taubes is a genius. When you leave the cult, you lose a lot of support and friendship you've come to lean on and it's hard to find that on the outside. Cults are famous for targeting the disenfranchised.
However for cults to survive, they must isolate members more and more from outside influences lest their following be exposed to folks who thrive by not following their teachings. This occurs every day on the blogs and such of low carbers who censor contrary voices despite claims to the contrary. Efforts are made to marginalize defectors or those who question the teachings of Taubes. Yours truly knows about this all too well. The last thing any cult needs is for members to be exposed to former members thriving on the outside. And that, my friends, is why a Richard Nickoley, a Paul Jaminet, a Kurt Harris, and dare I say, me, are all so threatening to committed low carbers. Because they are powerless to prevent the flow of information outside their carefully controlled webosphere and sooner or later some of the membership is bound to try this whacky idea of eating some potatoes or rice or even bread and realize that their life didn't fall apart. Most, if they do it right (cut back on some of the fat), will not only not gain weight and get sick, they may actually lose weight and see persisting health problems resolve.
Eating carbohydrates and thriving flies in the face of the last-ditch dogma of the Church of Taubes: The Damaged Metabolism Doctrine. Yes, the DMD is contained in the New Testament of Taubes, Why We Get Fat. Legions of low carbers faced with dwindling personal success despite persistence, look to their leaders and see much of the same. The only thing keeping these folks in the pews is keeping them convinced of the DMD. It's bad enough there are all these, as one member calls them, "robusto" paleos out there eating carbs. Because most of those are young males and can be written off as possessing as yet undamaged metabolisms. But it's damning to the DMD when the list of carb-eating reconverts over 40, many over 50 or near that, starts to get longer and longer. How to prevent the cult from collapsing?
The leaders, both long standing and newbies who've yet to cash in, are getting desperate to explain this phenomenon. They must convince the remaining flock that defectors are going down a path to destruction and only seeing short term gratification. The flock must resist mass exodus to heretical short term sin in favor of long term redemption. You see, the defectors eating carbs are now portrayed as ADDICTS giving into their baser instincts. They will pay with rampant glycation someday ... you'll see! Enter the longevity cultists with their new brand -- or rebrand -- of low carb cultism .... where carbs must be not just restricted but virtually eliminated and new members are baptized in ice baths and annointed with coconut oil.
Strange days folks.