The boy who “came back from heaven” has admitted that his story was made up.
In 2004, Alex Malarkey, who was then 6 years old, was in a car accident with his father, Kevin. The crash left him paralyzed and in a deep coma. It looked like he wouldn’t make it – until Alex woke up two months later with an incredible tale to tell: He had been to heaven.
His account was turned into a best-selling book, The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, and, later, a TV movie. But it was all a lie.
In an open letter to Pulpit and Pen website published earlier this week, Alex wrote succinctly: “I did not die. I did not go to Heaven.”
He explained: “I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention.
“When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to.
“They should read the Bible, which is enough,” he concluded. “The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.”
Tyndale House, the publisher behind the book, has since announced it will stop selling the memoir, according to The Washington Post.
“We are saddened to learn that Alex Malarkey, co-author of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, is now saying that he made up the story of dying and going to heaven,” the publisher said in a statement. “Given this information, we are taking the book out of print.”
This is not the first time the book has been the subject of controversy. Last spring, Alex’s mother, Beth, wrote a blog post denouncing it, saying Alex’s identity was being used “against his wishes.”
While the book lists Alex as a co-author along with his father, Tyndale has said it was never in contact with the boy, just his dad.
His parents are now divorced.