‘Madryn’*, the latest reviewer of West on Amazon, 19/03/2014, wrote in their final, and telling sentence: ‘West strikes me as less an expression of the sublime than the egotistical.’ and quite reasonably highlighted their scepticism as to the author’s story of his Terminal Lung Cancer; although Kirstie McCrum, in an interview with Jim Perrin in the Western Mail, 11/08/2010, had stated with authority: ‘Now suffering with cancer himself… After Jacquetta died he was also diagnosed with terminal cancer. Refusing treatment Jim is accepting of his illness saying: “Jacquetta was desperate to go on living, but I don’t think I’ve ever been that desperate”.’ **
Clearly it is the reviewer’s opinion — as it is ours — that his illness was an invention; and since his claim of that diagnosis he has shown, as yet, no sign of succumbing to the disease — instead, by all reports, he is in remarkable health.
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Throughout our posts we have recorded our belief that on this subject, as on so many others, Jim Perrin has lied. Yet, understanding that some might think it a case of his word against our own — our forceful expressions regarding his dishonesty — we felt it would be valuable to hear the opinion of an expert. An expert who was willing, dispassionately and impartially, to give their own view based on the ‘evidence’ which Jim Perrin offered as proof of his Terminal Lung Cancer — both in his written work and during the frequent interviews conducted when he was promoting his book. We are most grateful to one who has given generously of their time and advice — a senior hospital doctor and one of the longest-serving consultants in their field, with more than twenty-seven years’ experience in the diagnosis and assessment of cancer: their contribution follows this post.
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‘Madryn’ also said: ‘This episode, [Jim Perrin’s description of his cancer] plus Jac’s sisters’ very different versions of his affair with her, casts considerable doubt on the truth, factual and emotional, of the rest of West.’
One of our reasons for exposing, wherever possible, Jim Perrin’s lies is precisely that by doing so all his machination, his implication, his invented dialogue and absolute falsehoods will serve to ‘cast considerable doubt’ on the account he has written about his relationship with our sister, and to reveal his utter hypocrisy; as we said from the start — ‘to set the record straight for Jac’s sake.’
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‘So why did Perrin make all this up?’ asked ‘Madryn’; that indeed is the question. Taken from Wikipedia is this description of Münchausen syndrome: ‘A psychiatric factitious disorder wherein those affected feign disease, illness, or psychological trauma to draw attention, sympathy, or reassurance to themselves.’
However similarly the traits in this description seem to echo his own behaviour we would not dignify Jim Perrin’s lies in the context of this disorder, believing as we do that his personality is to a large degree sociopathic — evincing, as he has always, a completely cold and heartless modus operandi. This is recognised not only by us but by many others who know him (or who knew him in the past) and who have been in touch with us. It is our opinion that in this case there was a singular realisation by Jim Perrin that his ‘tragedy’ would have greater impact in the telling — his ‘triad of tragedy’ — if he were to claim that he had himself been diagnosed with cancer (he said his diagnosis was in July, 2007) and that he too was now dying. It was an entirely calculated and commercial decision — and he played the part with conviction: his friends; his editors; readers and fellow authors believed him. The quality of his acting was compelling: all who knew him were amazed — such stoicism and resilience and such valiant bravery in his adversity…
We believe that the whole cancer story was a premeditated lie — and an on-going subtle and absolute deception — to manipulate in this instance the emotions of his peers, his judges and his book-buying followers: as is now well known he was believed and he would have been gratified that his subterfuge had such success. However, there is just the small matter of his continued health, which rather gives the lie to his own words. To have survived lung cancer, his ‘firm diagnosis’ in July 2007, — (and, as he recounted in West) ‘upper lobe carcinoma, metastases in both lungs’ — until, most recently, December 2018, well over eleven years and with no treatment whatsoever as he particularly pointed out, would seem not only incredible but according to medical experience all but impossible: as will be borne out by notes in the contribution we next post.
The following post is a professional consideration of that claim by Jim Perrin to have been diagnosed with — and to be suffering from — ‘Terminal Lung Cancer’, and again we would like to thank the well-wisher who was so kind as to provide it for publication on our site.
* On re-reading this astute review of West — the book we so deplore — we thought it worthwhile to post it, in full, on our own site,14/07/2018. It was the only review posted by this person, who although originally using their own name shortly afterwards edited it to ‘Madryn’. (Perhaps discretion is the better part of valour… )
** ‘…desperate to go on living…’ Jim Perrin’s phrase is particularly heart-breaking in its cynicism as it was spoken so lightly by one who clearly knew with certainty that he was himself in no danger — his own ‘Terminal Lung Cancer’ self-evidently being an entirely fictional device…