Boy Who Came Back From Heaven Says He Made it All Up

Posted on January 16, 2015

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Alex Malarky

Tyndale is pulling the book The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven from distribution after the author, Alex Malarkey, wrote an open letter saying that he made up the entire experience, and that he did not actually go to Heaven.

Alex Malarkey was six year old when he was involved in a terrible car accident. The crash left him permanently paralyzed (he is now 17 years old). When he awoke from a two month coma after the crash he told his parents he had gone to Heaven and seen angels, Jesus and even Lucifer himself. His story was written down by his father Kevin and the book became a bestseller for Tyndale House, especially in Christian bookstores.

NPR reports that Alex now says he made the whole thing up. The decision to pull the book comes after Alex Malarkey wrote an open letter to retailer LifeWay and others who sell Christian books and religious materials. It was published this week on the Pulpit and Pen website.

Alex writes, "Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short. 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."

Alex writes that Christians only need the Bible, and rebukes booksellers for marketing these kinds of stories which are not real. Alex is referring to "heavenly tourism" -- a popular genre of books written by people who claim to have died, gone to Heaven and returned with tales of the afterlife.

Alex's parents got a divorce a few years ago and he lives with his mother, who has disputed the book's facts on her blog. She also says the revenues from the book have not been going to Alex. It sounds as if there is quite a bit of family drama going on and we really feel for Alex, who has a very difficult life. His mother seems to be implying that the father made the whole thing up, or somehow coached a six year old ,deathly ill child into making the statements in order to publish a book.

In any event, Alex is quite brave to come forward. It remains to be seen if this will stem the tide of heavenly tourism books.

Photo: Tyndale House