We were at first intrigued by the spite with which ‘Melangell’ wrote of us in comments on the Guardian thread, 24/07/10, then amused by what were clearly spurious postings on other sites; finally, bored with the nonsense which was issued at every opportunity — and which we suspected to be devised entirely by Jim Perrin, using that name as an alias — we set up this site.
It is said that ‘All publicity is good publicity’ and perhaps we should have left the matter, rather than undertaking this journey in which all sign-posts point ‘West:’ but our natural wish was for the truth about our late sister’s ill-fated relationship with this author to be made known and we realised that as Jac’s sisters, we were best placed for the task.
If we do not speak, Jim Perrin’s provable lies and deceptions — his attitudinising — would go on indefinitely and this knowledge led us to overcome our reluctance and to set out on our venture: from technophobes we became twenty-first century bloggers.
Jim Perrin, for all his ‘intelligence’, his endless words (and his phenomenal use of other authors’ words) has — we believe — brought upon himself by writing of our sister as he has done in West that which he would not have wished: the eyes of his reading public are now focused — through the ‘lens’ of the internet — on his misconduct, his misdemeanours and his propensity for outrageous lies. These lies we have highlighted in our posts, with some of the evidence we hold.
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In his transformation from ‘Jim Perrin, Rock-climber’ to ‘Jim Perrin, Travel Writer’ (and ‘Nature writer’), he began by various means to build up his reputation as an author, and he has delivered along the way many literary body-blows to his ‘rivals’ — some pseudonymously, others quite openly; he might have thought his professional reputation and his progress was assured.
Apart from the quality of his genuine work, which we are not qualified to judge, we believe that for years he has been behaving in a Jekyll and Hyde manner when it comes to the work of others: he has written with apparent impunity some exceptionally spiteful and damaging reviews and comments — in our view quite unwarranted and abusive.
After reading so many of these we have reached the conclusion that for some time Jim Perrin has been using the internet almost as his fiefdom.
But the internet is also a vehicle for the ‘little man’ (and for Jac’s sisters… ) and we thank its creator for the freedom it affords. One of its advantages is that those who wish to scrutinise source-material — under, as it were, the most powerful magnifying glass — for cross-reference and research, are sometimes able with patience to unmask charlatans.
Writers may have enormous influence: they are given or take for themselves a most powerful weapon; to use it for good is surely the highest aim. But any author who having already gained respect then uses this weapon to further their own reputation, perhaps at the expense of others — by dubious, even devious, means — would be dishonoured. Surely to write beautifully and with integrity, and to write of what they know to be true, is a sufficient challenge for any reputable author.
Attempts to ‘down’ others, by savaging them and to use that weapon with such force — with malice aforethought — they would be mean-spirited authors indeed who stoop to that level and who use their craft to vilify their peers and who by ‘planting’ untruths become adept at media manipulation.
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In our own case we believe that the author Jim Perrin has by the use of aliases and ‘plants’ attempted to bully us — reading of comments on other sites: the Guardian, Amazon, and ‘to Hatch a Crow’ * will show what we mean by this.
It is our opinion that he has written flatteringly of his own work and with denigration of those whom he wishes to hurt — by the use of pseudonyms, or ‘borrowed’ names — hiding in some cases, it might be thought, behind women’s skirts: ‘Melangell’, ‘My sweet Waterfall’, ‘Liz’, and ‘Amanda Townend’. The latter was responsible for a pert and gratuitous comment following Stevie Davies’s not entirely flattering review of ‘West: in The Independent, 23/7/10 — and yes, s/he included a reading recommendation (one of Jim Perrin’s trademarks) — clearly he was not altogether happy with the review…
And ‘Liz’, for example, wrote in her first ‘innocent’ comment[s] ‘on ‘To Hatch a Crow’ 22/09/2010, (as well as referring to Jim Perrin in his ‘last illness’) — ‘Read any of Penelope Liveley’s books for many different takes on this’. Another typical sentence? ‘Liz’ left that site and transferred to Amazon. We are of course speculating but we do believe it, and bluster — ref. ‘Amazon’ — will not help. If ‘Liz’ is not in any way at all connected with Jim Perrin she is of course deserving of an apology — yet ‘the lady doth protest too much [we think].’
(NB. … an edit: It is interesting to note here, that following almost immediately on this post ‘Liz’ responded with yet another sarcastic comment on the Amazon thread; although later — at our instigation — they deleted all ‘her’ comments entirely. Clearly they too realised that ‘she’ was a ‘he’ with the initials ‘JP’!)
Lest we be accused of ‘Perrinoia’, who else but HE would care — or would be sufficiently interested — or would have the motive, so to traduce us in those comments which relate to Jac’s sisters? (As one of them pointed out recently…)
Our site must be a cause of great concern to him; and he is probably irritated, displeased and possibly somewhat fearful that we have been showing in so detailed a way the facts as they really were. The pro-Perrin comments all ignore his unkind treatment of our sister, and attempt to airbrush his proved lies, his ‘anonymous’ letter and his abuse of her son from the reader’s memory. ‘A cunning plan’ ?
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So far as Jac was concerned he has constructed a house of cards, the foundations of which we have been mining and the subsequent damage to this insubstantial edifice must have caused him, at the very least, some annoyance.
Should this seem vindictive, it is only by exposing Jim Perrin’s many lies (regarding our sister) that we can validate what we have been writing and posting on our site, which we began with the intention of ‘setting the record straight’.
We know how unhappy Jac had become and that she intended to break off the relationship; it was her to ‘Welsh’ sister she turned for help when filling out claim forms for sickness, housing and council tax benefit. This was whilst she was enduring her cancer treatment — she was very ill and weak, no longer able to work on her stained-glass and unable therefore to make her own living as she had previously been doing.
This fact alone, quite apart from all that we have recorded in our posts of her real relationship with Jim Perrin, is sufficient to show that she had not the least intention of allowing him to remain at her house, or in her life. The irony is that he has ‘used’ her in this way, after her death. It is shameful — she was, by the end, seriously intimidated by him and was most definitely taking steps to live without him.
Who, in a happy, loving and meaningful relationship chooses to fill in claim forms for the DHHS in order to secure financial independence from their partner — even were they in good health? Our sister was undergoing gruelling cancer treatment when she was so positively making these plans for her future…
So we feel that for Jim Perrin to have written of her as he has is entirely mercenary and if this sounds harsh, we did write a post earlier in which we told of their first happy months in 2003; but when he wrote West he well knew (and his own letters prove it) that the relationship had very seriously deteriorated: he has, we believe, fabricated an alternative version to suit his revised ‘history’.
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Incidentally manipulation of the internet can be seen by the continued assertion — at the time of writing — in his profile on ‘The Writers of Wales’ database, that he is ‘of a [Welsh] Denbighshire family’. We have shown this to be untrue and his genealogy can be seen on this site. Described as ‘the Guardian Diarist for [sic] Wales’, he has not only lived in Wales for some four or five years — as ‘Literature Wales’ well knows — but has been back and forth to the French Pyrénées (in flight from the CSA).
Mystifyingly, when we telephoned them to suggest that his profile be amended they refused, saying that it was for their authors to provide their own details, and that they would not themselves change them.
They then said they were not ‘prepared to discuss it’, although they are aware of our site, and that their acting deputy director had ‘instructed’ them not to read it or talk about it at all. We have wondered before, on the Guardian thread, if Jim Perrin has Friends in High Places: it certainly seems to be the case. However, they did at least tell us that others besides ourselves had contacted them…
* There has been a ‘spring-cleaning’ of this site as regards the comments by ‘Liz’ and others on the thread we refer to, though we hope it may be possible to retrieve them in the future in order to clarify this post.
PS We have placed an advertisement in the next issue of ‘Private Eye’: No. 1291, which will also be shown on their web site.
Viva la Internet!