As we noted recently, Jim Perrin has not yet succumbed to his Terminal Lung Cancer (the diagnosis of which he claimed was in July, 2007). Whilst we are aware our words may seem unsympathetic we have explained in previous posts that we doubted the truth of this particular story almost from the beginning and then quickly discovered that it was, on the author’s own admission, entirely un-true.
Jim Perrin was obliged to admit to the representative of The Guardian who went over to Ariège to interview him face-to-face, that he did not after all have cancer; the terminal cancer which he had been proclaiming for so many months. He was, they reported, ‘looking very spritely’, and could no longer keep up the pretence that he was dying; but instead — by using a loophole as imaginary as his illness — he suggested that ‘perhaps [he] had been misdiagnosed’. We learned of that latest development at the time, from an impeccable source; nevertheless it came into the public domain only recently. While Jim Perrin has had the sheer nerve to perpetuate his myth for some years more — despite confessing when ‘confronted’ — his continuing health has finally given the lie to his falsehood. Jac’s sisters have written of this in several posts, the most detailed being on the 11/05/2011, but we know from our own experience how he always lies so convincingly and his friends probably disbelieved us. (Incidentally, we also have on record — and this is indisputable — that Jim Perrin claimed to be ‘Dying of Liver Cancer’, some eighteen years ago.)
However, and more to our point, this meeting was not before he deceitfully contrived to inform the world of his Grave Illness, and the dreadful prognosis of what was likely to be his fate. With the use of this sham diagnosis he has gained and greatly benefitted from (as of course had been his intention) admiration for his bravery in adversity; sympathy; and the unquestioning, unsuspecting and unstinting support which he has been shown by all those he had deceived since 2010.
Generally, people are concerned and kindly when they hear of illness in another; cancer in particular is an affliction which evokes the strongest empathy. It was certainly true in the author’s case: ‘Poor Jim Perrin’ was the refrain; so tragically soon after the death of his partner from that same distressing disease…
Amongst those he did deliberately deceive were: his agent; his publishers; his editors; his readers and his reviewers (Sir Andrew Motion, Jan Morris and Stevie Davies were just three): employers from climbing magazines, local and national newspapers (The Guardian, The Times, The Observer) and periodicals, including from the extensive Welsh literary scene. (Gwen Davies of the New Welsh Review still seems to trust him absolutely, as does Lleucu Siencyn of Literature Wales even though both were told the facts at least five years ago. Yet surely, by now, they too cannot help but realise the deceitful nature of the man to whom they have been so loyal… ) There were various interviewers in print (Emily Rodway, for one, of TGO, who wrote in the September 2010 issue: ‘Jim himself was diagnosed by doctors as having terminal cancer…the clean air [of the Pyrénées] has improved his health, but the diagnosis stands.’) — on radio, television and YouTube, and programme makers and film producers (Grant Gee). And last, or rather first, his family, as well as friends and loyal fans. It is our belief that each of these, and probably others too, were systematically duped by Jim Perrin in the matter of his ‘Terminal Lung Cancer’.
It could have been no accident. On the contrary, he was explicit that he was doomed to die: ‘Now with a slim and dwindling grant of remaining years…’ — (The Times, 13/07/2010). In West each fictional symptom was described with the utmost ‘authority’ — this ‘diagnosis (this sentence of death) was one of the three elements he chose to call ‘my Triad of Tragedy’. If indeed there had been some genuine misunderstanding, some misdirected words or rumours, maybe some Chinese whispers — Jim Perrin was perfectly able, had he wished, to explain that he was not unwell. Instead he made, and used, every possible opportunity to say how ill he was, and so reinforce the untruthful story of his cancer: as well as the ‘story’ he had diligently been promoting since his first article in The Observer (courtesy of the editor Roger Alton) in 2005, that our sister was his ‘Lover, wife and friend of forty years’.
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So it is our opinion that this was a well thought-out deception, and thoroughly comprehensive; and one which served the purposes of its originator as well as he could have wished. Unfortunately — and, it is strange in this topsy-turvy world — there are still those who hang on to their faith in his integrity despite all the evidence against him, although there are examples of his on-going duplicity (in several matters besides his imaginary cancer) for which the proof is beyond all doubt. Jim Perrin’s acolytes seem unwilling to accept the facts, and they close their eyes and ears. In fairness, we might suggest that some really do not know, and may have no idea their hero is the subject of such accusations, as his long-established system of compartmentalising those with whom he is involved works to his advantage. ‘Compartmentalising’ is medically recognised as a sociopathic trait — a marker.
Others, though (particularly those involved with the UKC and the climbing magazine The Great Outdoors) choose the easy way and consider their options with care. He calmly protests his innocence and explains that it is he who is ‘the victim’ and we ‘are the liars’: thus their belief in him remains absolute. Time should have been on Jim Perrin’s side. As of course there has been no news of his death from cancer which he pretended would be the case and, as years have passed, people refer less and less to that aspect of his life, there is every possibility that, if his luck had held, his deception — having served its purpose — would by now be completely forgotten by the majority, and his honesty would not be challenged: (so aggravating that Jac’s sisters continue to highlight this fraud, among others, in their posts… ) Nevertheless it does stand, and notably reveals one element of Jim Perrin’s cynical modus operandi. In our opinion it is apparent that he an ‘easy liar’ and a man for whom morals, and the ethics of social life hold no meaningful constraint: and it is clear, from reading the mass of evidence against him, that our words are fully justified.
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As well as those mentioned above there is another group who simply couldn’t care. One person, Gordon Stainforth, accused us of ‘washing dirty linen in public’; and some really prefer not to tax their minds, even though, as we believe, many of our posts reveal, and without any question of refutation, the true wickedness of the author — wickedness which should not be ignored and should be made public. (It is interesting that no women have complained — it is only men who have expressed these views… ) How lucky Jim Perrin is, in his circle of cronies, his friends — his ‘buddies’ as he calls them: but that is to excuse him, if not exonerate him — silence gives consent — (and, well, maybe he is a bit of a character). It does nothing to address the known distress he has caused for years; and continues to do, to this day.
He has knowingly wronged so many with his lies and his violence; his manipulation of the internet; his psychological abuse and fraudulent behaviour. We now have files of documentation; full of information — and letters that tell of these things.
We do wonder what hold a man could possibly have, who despite the blatant untruths he has told (and continues to tell); and the cheating of which he is proved to be guilty, is still considered to be persona grata by those of his associates who support (and pay) him — it cannot only be that he is thought to write so very prettily?
And, we must accept, there are many in the world of literature, particularly women authors it seems (and who comprise a very long list indeed… ) who hang on his every word and preen themselves in the warmth of his subtle and intellectual flattery. He has gathered around himself a coterie of female writers in this way whom he has convinced of his utter probity and who disregarding the ‘dreadful lies’ told about him consider him to be worthy of following — such is the power of his influence upon them. These, of course, are kept in completely separate compartments to the many women whom he has hurt and abused and despite the details posted on this site (one which Jim Perrin actively discourages his friends from reading) will probably have no idea of his other persona.
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It is most shameful that from his earnings the ’eminent’ author Jim Perrin persists in refusing to give any maintenance at all to his underage children.
Prominent newspapers, The Sunday Telegraph and The Guardian as well as, in Wales, The New Welsh Review — amongst other Welsh literary bodies; and the prestigious, and very glossy magazine The Great Outdoors, all employ him so there should be some money for the upkeep of his children?
Not forgetting of course the revenues from his many books, and from the obituaries which might be thought to be his ‘bread and butter’. We certainly saw receipts for generous amounts for some of these, in the past; and he ‘advertises’ himself on his Wikipedia page in a most unseemly way. Why should he not? Perhaps it is something of an accolade to be asked to write them (or to be written of by him — retrospectively?). It may be his knowledge of the climbing milieu, that or his reputation as ‘one of the most prominent writers in British climbing’ according to UKC henchmen, which encourages requests for his services? It seems distasteful though to list them, like trophies, after the event…
But: they are not always what might have been required. When reading them there are frequently little touches of acid to be discerned (subtly incorporated as ‘humour’ and anecdotes), and references to ‘I’ and ‘me’ not really quite appropriate to the purpose.
The late Jim Curran — renowned as a popular and highly-regarded climber; film-maker; author; raconteur and artist and who was the recipient of a special award from the Boardman Tasker committee for ‘his outstanding and continual contribution to mountain literature’ — when he knew he was dying, put it on record that he would haunt anyone who commissioned his obituary from Jim Perrin…
PS. We have been told that Cameron McNeish — a major figure in TGO and the long-standing friend of Jim Perrin — has won the ‘Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture’, 2018, and we congratulate him. We prefer to assume that he has no knowledge of the ‘Jim Perrin’ of whom we write (as we know the author has positively discouraged people from reading our site, swearing that ‘it is all lies’ — in order to prove their loyalty to him): it would be quite shaming we think if his continuing support for Jim Perrin was despite being aware of all his recorded, documented, and genuinely wicked behaviour to former wives, partners and children; as well as to those in other spheres — fellow writers and climbers…