Jim Perrin’s qualified grief

At first, after reading the lies in West, we reviewed it on several Amazon threads — although they were all later deleted, we supposed at the request of Jim Perrin! We have said in several other posts: ‘Who but HE would care, or would be sufficiently interested, or would have the motive?’ — this surely must be so? — and to this day any attempt to post as ‘jacssisters’ is automatically blocked. Subsequently we decided to show those reviews on our own site in order to gain further coverage, and by writing our posts we have sought to expose the many lies that this deceitful man has written about our sister.

We believe that he abused Jac: not only psychologically during their relationship (much of this we witnessed or were told about by Jac herself) but also later, in a literary sense, by writing of her so exploitatively after she died — she whom he claimed to love: we have posted so many details, so much indisputable evidence, that his behaviour has now been made known to the myriads who read our posts. Remarkably, and sadly, among these are men and women who have shared with us their own stories of devastating past involvement with Jim Perrin…

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He  lied in West. Developing long and involved scenarios from the least scrap is sophistic, and inventing dialogue, claiming it as authentic is a scurvy way of writing when the subject, having had words attributed to them, has died and cannot repudiate them. His first lie was told on the first page. He wrote of ‘the old black Citroen’ and described our sister’s (non-existent) driving offence. Ref. Was Jim Perrin caught speeding? After this, he continued: ‘This was where my instinctive flight had led…’ —  ‘…on impulse I had fled’ — ‘I knew the myths that led me here to the west [of Ireland]. There were copious quotes from literary sources (he is so erudite; well, we knew he had all the relevant books…) a considerable amount of fanciful nonsense and the removal of much of the truth from his account.

Jim Perrin went to Ireland because he knew he had to leave our late sister’s house. He stayed with a former lover who, he said, invited him; in just a fortnight, he made over sixty phone calls to her number — but she seems to have resisted this bombardment and the majority of his calls failed. Judging by his scurrilous (and from our own experience, lying) descriptions in West, the visit was also a failure… He had already told one of Jac’s sisters, two days after Jac had died, that it was his intention to go to Ireland — and from there to the French Pyrénées. There was no ‘instinctive flight’, no ‘impulse’ on which he ‘fled’ and it was not complete chance that he ‘fetched up in the furthermost west…’  ‘Myths’ did not ‘lead’ him. He went, as he had told Jac’s sister he would, as the result of an entirely pragmatic decision which was the result of his failed plan to seize the tenancy of the house and not under the influence of any mystical west-ward pull. He wrote, of our sister: ‘She had gone west and I would go that way too’. ‘To go west was to follow her.’ (As someone pithily remarked: ‘Tosh’.)

Well: he is a writer and ‘writers will write’ but elsewhere in the book he wrote: ‘All human testimony is in some measure unreliable… the actual becomes subservient to the story, which has its own purpose to fulfil.’ And particularly pertinent, because he was talking about Jac: ‘I am curiously incapable now of discerning to what degree any of the elements of the story have been fictionalised, as inevitably they must be in any writing project [really?] when we shape, select, colour with our rhetoric or even at times wholly invent.’ [our emphases]… Essentially, by this admission, Jim Perrin gave himself carte blanche and felt he could lie whenever he chose. He did so; throughout the book. ‘One place in particular that had stayed in my mind… in the far south-west corner of Denbighshire, the country of my father’s people’. This statement can be shown for the blatant lie that it is, in our post Jim Perrin’s family background.

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This author has lied on so many levels. We think it is one of his strongest character traits. He lied over trifles: Jac did not have a ‘rickety, sit-up-and-beg Austin A40 Farina’. ‘Her phone went unanswered.’ One of her sisters who lived in Liverpool at the same time and saw her regularly knows that Jac did not have a telephone… and any local phone-kiosks in the area of Liverpool where they lived were more often than not found vandalised when needed!

This sister, on reading: ‘…a mutual agreement that every possible minute together in the outdoors was for us the perfect good’ noted in the margin: ‘Distorted and [* * *]  Jac was not an outdoor girl!’ This from the sister who spent most time with Jac and knew perfectly well how things were. ‘Trifles’? As we say. But while we were reading West we referred throughout to the lies which we knew he had written. The margins of our copy are completely covered in these notes. The number of lies told, to our absolute knowledge, is no ‘trifling’ matter. But, of course, written as they were in Jim Perrin’s inimitable style they would encourage anyone to believe him…

Infinitely more serious though: he has lied about our family issues — issues of such a personal nature they should be sacrosanct. A ‘lover’ with true feeling would not seek to profit, in any way, from abusing the trust which had been placed in him. Jim Perrin is a man, clearly, who has no integrity and he did seek that profit; from scarifying comments about a well-loved family member; a history of adopted babies; to death-bed scenes. His relating of stories not his own is an abomination. He has, in our opinion, no moral compass. But we know from what we have learned of his past behaviour, and of his time with our sister (as well as his activities since she died) that his ‘feelings’; his ’emotions’; his ‘sensitivities’ — are as the costumes worn by an actor. We have said before that ‘we believe him to be a hollow man’; yet he acts so well that his audience seem to hang upon his every word — not realising how deftly they have been deceived.

Jim Perrin described our sister’s dying hours, and her death, so ‘movingly’. Hearts went out to him from his audience. His own suffering was, of course, paramount… But, what a wonderful partner he was; how he had adored ‘his woman’ — as he wrote. How he did care for her in her final moments; and how deeply distressed he was when he lost her, is recorded in West in words which, written through his grieving tears, would ensure his readers’ admiration for his delicacy and devotion. Except his words were lies; all lies.

And the truth, as so often with Jim Perrin, was far from what he had portrayed. His recounting of that time was exaggerated, fanciful and, in places, downright fabrication: he was not with our sister when she died. Nor had he been with her for well over twenty four hours — he had left her alone. These facts did not deter him. He wrote: ‘I held her, caressed her, told her how dearly I loved her…’  We have written of this in other posts: Jim Perrin deserted Jacquetta and in our last account of our sister’s illness — but have revisited it now as a prelude to the post which follows: Jim Perrin’s ‘Terms of Bereavement’.

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However there was yet another offensive passage in West which we have not described in detail before. Jim Perrin wrote — as if he had been present when Jac died — ‘People soon began to fill the room’ and: ‘A Buddhist placed ritual objects around her pillow, yelped loudly to ”drive the spirit out of the body”, and lectured those present with dogmatic assurance — there is nothing more ludicrous than pompous certainty in the face of what cannot be known — according to his beliefs on her present state of consciousness.’ This was written about Jac’s ‘first love’, a man who until the very end of her life had been so important to her; (and one whom Jim Perrin has always hated and, essentially, libelled in West). In a memorandum to us, he — a close family friend, (and brother-in-law, essentially) — described the same scene: ‘In her room alone for a few minutes I removed Jac’s IV line and re-arranged her position. [As he is a qualified and long-experienced physician this was completely agreed to by the nurses in the circumstances.] Our Buddhist belief encourages a surrounding calmness during the “transference of consciousness at the time of death” so we gathered around her bed as calmly as possible, occasionally retiring to another room to grieve more openly.’

We were there; and this is an honest account…*

Jac’s sisters.

* Dr Jim Duff has written of his long history with our sister, including these details. Please read his post here: ‘Bitter Sweet’.

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