In 2009, Alex Malarkey and his father wrote a touching memoir about a tragic experience in which he died at age six, went to heaven, and came back to tell about it. That’s a beautiful story — except it never happened.
Nearly five years after it hit bestseller lists, a book that alleged to be a six-year-old boy’s story of visiting angels and heaven after suffering a bad car accident will be pulled from shelves. The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said this week that the story was all made up; a total fabrication, according to NPR.
Malarkey wrote an open letter this week that says not only did he not go to Heaven, he never even died.
“I did not die. I did not go to Heaven. 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. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.”
This is unfortunate news for many groups who used Malarkey’s book, which was co-authored by his father, to support claims of the existence of Heaven, God, and angels. But that very fact seems to be what has motivated the twelve-year-old Malarkey to come forward: he thinks the Bible should be enough evidence, and he regrets telling a lie.
The book’s publisher, Tyndale House, had promoted it as “a supernatural encounter that will give you new insights on Heaven, angels, and hearing the voice of God.” The book was heavily circulated in churches and on best-seller lists, a common topic of conversation after its release. With the admission from Malarkey that the story was fictional, Tyndale House is pulling the book.
Here is what is true: Alex Malarkey was in a terrible car accident at age six and spent two months in a coma. The rest of the book is complete fiction, and Malarkey’s mother agrees with her son that the book is untrue. She has since divorced Malarkey’s father, and has also been open about the fact the book was not truthful. She also said none of the proceeds have been going to Alex.
“Alex’s name and identity are being used against his wishes (I have spoken before and posted about it that Alex has tried to publicly speak out against the book), on something that he is opposed to and knows to be in error according to the Bible. I am fully aware of what it feels like to be pulled in. There are many who are scamming and using the Word of God to do it. They are good, especially if you are not digging into your Bible and truly studying it. They study their audience and even read ‘success’ books to try to build better and bigger… ‘ministries/businesses.'”
There has been no official comment from Alex’s father, the co-author of the book.
[Image by Malarkey Custom]