Thank you for your response to our email.
We have read your comments, also your guidelines, and we feel that the following points could usefully be brought to your attention.
We had no idea, when we first read an article in The Times, 13/07/2010, written by the author Jim Perrin about his forthcoming book West, that the book was to be published.
But we did read, only weeks after our sister’s death in May 2005, an article he wrote in the The Observer, in which he claimed our sister was his ‘Lover, wife and friend of forty years’, that he was with her when she died, and other inaccurate details.
Knowing these erroneous ‘facts’ to be entirely different from the truth we contacted Roger Alton who was then the editor to ask that we might print a — simple — rebuttal.
We had only asked him for the opportunity to refute the author’s untruthful claims. He replied that he ‘knew Jim well’, and he would not accommodate us. As we were then unaware of the scope of the internet we didn’t realise the possibility that we could use it, and we took Roger Alton’s dismissal as inevitable, knowing of no other recourse.
That was, as mentioned before, only weeks after our sister’s death, and we had no knowledge of the author’s intention to write a book on the subject.
In fact he wrote two: in the first — The Climbing Essays — the entire first chapter he later featured, with many embellishments, in his second, West.
We were unaware. The publishers, ‘Atlantic Books’, did not contact us. Clearly, the author did not. It was a fait accompli.
The book contains very many, and very disturbing lies. Lies which we have been able to prove, without question. Lies by which, had our sister been alive, she would have been appalled.
Jac (Jacquetta) was so far from happy with Jim Perrin that she planned to end the relationship. Before she could do so she died of the cancer with which she had been diagnosed nine months earlier.
They had lived together barely eighteen months and she had been, for many reasons, extremely unhappy. (A particularly important one being the author’s attitude towards her children which culminated in an attack on one of her sons.)
This attack by Jim Perrin was reported to the police at the time. Photographs of the bruising were taken, and our nephew was advised by the them that he would be justified in pressing charges. However, for his mother’s sake, as she was by now so very ill — indeed she had less than five months to live — he decided, that she might not be further distressed, against taking that course of action.
Sir Andrew Motion reviewed West in The Guardian on 24/07/2010; and he, unknowing, repeated some of the lies which Jim Perrin had written, so we, Jac’s sisters, decided to answer on the same Guardian thread.
A contributor ‘Melangell’, whom we believe to be Jim Perrin, posted many comments. Several of them were wonderfully flattering about the book, one was denigratory about Sir Andrew Motion himself but those concerning us were vile about our family, things were said which were flagrant in their malice and, of course, quite untrue, and things were written to plant discreditable thoughts about us in the minds of readers of that thread.
We didn’t complain — we didn’t realise (being very new internet users) that we could had we wished to — but it became so very silly; our truth was complained about by ‘Melangell’ and caused to be removed whilst ‘her’ arrant nonsense remained, so that we took the advice of our many well-wishers and, with help, set up our own site.
We have told our sister’s story with letters to her from this author which prove their relationship was failing badly, letters which show his attempted control over her, details of the assault on her son, and much, much more.
He has written that he was with her at her death. He was not. And that he is of a Welsh family, which he is not. And that he is dying of ‘terminal lung cancer’ which he is not. We were told this by an unimpeachable source. Jim Perrin, when asked about his health admitted that he did not have cancer.
This is just some of the background.
* * * * *
Whenever we have read a review of West on Amazon naturally we have wished to express our thoughts about it, except that very recently it is apparent that Jim Perrin, who in our opinion is ‘Liz’, has complained. As he did as ‘Melangell’ last year on The Guardian site.
We have said in a post: ‘Who else but HE would care, or would be sufficiently interested, or who would have the motive, to so traduce Jac’s sisters?’, and our latest responses to ‘Liz’ have all been removed — including the apology demanded — although we do feel that we should ourselves have received one given what ‘she’ wrote of us!
She has deluged us with defamatory language. Here is a list of what she has written on your site: Amazon:
‘Your mad and distasteful conspiracy theories… I find your blog venomous, sanctimonious and hypocritical… And reading it makes me feel dirty‘ (although she still does and responded in only hours — on Amazon to our latest post!) ‘You are cowardly to have disabled blog comments…’ ‘You have not an ounce of intelligence…‘ (A proof-reading error is pointed out with malicious glee), ‘and your blog is a monomaniacal polemic… it is obvious that there is no point in trying to get into any kind of intelligent discussion with you… your minds are closed… you are the most unpleasantly self-righteous bunch that I have ever come across, apparently with no human failings or frailties at all’. ‘Her’ latest comment describes our site as ‘toxic’ and her most recent idea to be planted in the readers’ minds, is that ‘your only desire is to trash Jim Perrin over and over and over using any avenue that permits you to speak ‘. Her final comment ‘note to self… stop feeding the trolls, so I have’. We have learned, only recently, that the word ‘troll’ in internet jargon is pejorative, and so she means, again, to have the last, spiteful, word. In our opinion it is most revealing. ‘He’ has ‘won’.
At no point, in any of the comments quoted from above, is West mentioned.
To what purpose then, we ask ourselves, and our conclusion is that we have been, as they say, ‘set up’.
We were possibly naïve in the vehemence of our responses. But they were not made pseudonymously and we do have a contact facility, but we never intended to have a ‘forum’. We have been creating a record. We have said, from the beginning, that we do not wish to discuss our site’, at this stage at least, which is as we stated ‘To set the record straight’.
But we do feel, most strongly, that there is a very telling ‘progression’ in ‘Liz’s’ comments on Amazon.
Firstly (so far as our story is concerned) she posted on To Hatch a Crow, 22/09/2010, a lengthy comment including, interestingly, a reference to Jim Perrins’ ‘cancer’, but mostly about us and which is very misleading.
We, in fact, were exceptionally close as sisters and as friends. One of us lives only ten miles from Jac’s house. We all spoke at length and very often indeed by telephone and were completely up-to-date with the details of her failing relationship with the author and some of the episodes were actually witnessed by us.
We believe that ‘Liz’ has been using Amazon as she accused us of using it — as ‘an avenue’ — (to quote her) by which she has insulted us — note, not a single word, not a mention of West on Amazon, merely an opportunity made and taken to respond to our posts, and to attempt to discredit us.
Misguidedly — we rather toppled into that trap — we answered! In her last two comments, before our apology (now deleted) she quoted from two of our posts: why? We did not use Amazon in that way, we have our own site… and then, after ‘planting’ all her words she complains about us! The trap is sprung: and we — our comments — have ‘disappeared’.
Not only that, hers all remain, with their ‘clever’ and subtle (and not so subtle) denigration: and our subsequent comments have been electronically refused. Instantaneously. Not even moderated. We can only conclude that Jim Perrin (as Liz) has succeeded — as we believe he tried to do as ‘Melangell’ in The Guardian — not only in silencing us, but, by ‘planting’ the comments he has, taking attention from our blog — which is immensely damaging to him as we have proved so much of what he has written to be false — and vilifying us.
So cleverly done though. The words are used so subtly. The intention is manifest.
Yet if Jim Perrin really is dying of terminal lung cancer, it would have been stated by now. The words of ‘seicolegwr’ — your latest commentator — are pure sophistry.
That comment is without truth, our post can be verified. We have evidence — including police reports; an analysis of handwriting by a professional (who is employed by several governmental departments and by the police — to indicate only a small element of their client base).
We are in the process of having the reviews and comments which we suspect to be dubious: ‘Marc’, ‘Rich’, ‘My Sweet Waterfall’, ‘Melangell’, others, and of course ’Liz’, submitted to an analyst who specialises in text and content, and we will in due course, make any interesting findings known on our site.
Jim Perrin wrote a letter — anonymously — which was truly wicked, about our sister’s children (less than eight weeks after her death) the details of which are on our site.
We have been pursuing this so vigorously because, although not in a spirit of vindictiveness, we have so profoundly wished to set the record straight for our sister, who is no longer able to speak for herself; bitterly unhappy as she became in the last year of her life, in the last year of what was only an eighteen month period of living with Jim Perrin, (and not at all with him in her youth, which he falsely claimed), it is we feel, a wicked thing to have ‘used’ her with such base disregard to the truth as we have proved this author to have shown.
Since the inception of our site ‘jacssisters’ so many have contacted us who have been hurt personally and professionally, by this author, and who are AFRAID of him. Women who have been abused (some who until reading our blog thought they were the ‘only one’), other authors whom he has disparaged in spurious ‘reviews’ — we have a file now the contents of which surprise us, very sad and very distressing letters, some tell of correspondence and affidavits lodged with solicitors — we began by writing of our sister Jac, and yet have since learnt of so many others hurt by this man.
It is certainly we feel, no coincidence that Jim Perrin has so attempted to vilify us, to ‘set us up’ (we believe this absolutely) as he has been doing on your Amazon thread. ‘Who but he…?’
And despite the nasty comments by ‘Liz’ and ‘seicolegwr’ we stated at the outset that we would not be having a comments facility — i.e. a public forum. We are not anonymous. We gave our full names Elisabeth Simpson, Caroline Hardaker and Alex Richardson, and a means of contact and the denigrating comments posted by ‘Liz’ and ‘seicolegwr’ on this aspect alone, are posted to cast us in a bad light — oh, so clever! — and to make, so snidely, their point. A point which is superfluous but intended to damage, and typical we feel of the ‘subtlety’ which is being used, through Amazon, to attack us.
However Jim Perrin may try to ‘manipulate’ the internet to discredit us, we have written the truth. Our solicitor has told us that ‘Truth is an absolute defence’ and we have tried to write with integrity; and we believe that ‘Liz’ and, only within days ‘seicolegwr’, have written of us in a way hardly fitting your own guidelines. Indeed they have not mentioned West at all but used the Amazon site as their ‘avenue’ intentionally, to damage and discredit our reputations. May we ask that these comments should be ‘deleted’ as ours, which were honest, have been.
Later note: Amazon took this letter most seriously, clearly believed all that we had written and removed entirely any of ‘Liz’s’ (JP’s?) outpourings. Someday, for the interest of our readers, we may post that sequence of ‘Liz’s’ comments so that it may be seen that they were all, in fact, written by Jim Perrin…