On January 13, Alex Malarkey retracted the claims he made in the best selling book-turned movie “Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.” The open letter (see below) revealed that he made the whole story up and could not continue to lie to people.
Lifeway Books released a statement on Thursday saying they would be returning the books to the publisher as a result.
On Friday afternoon, the book’s publisher Tyndale House released this statement: “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. Given this information, we are taking the book out of print.”
Tyndale released an updated statement Friday evening:
“Earlier this week Tyndale learned that Alex Malarkey, co-author of ‘The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven,’ was retracting the story he had told his father and that he recounted in the book they co-authored for publication in 2010. It is because of this new information that we are taking the book out of print. For the past couple of years we have known that Beth Malarkey, Kevin’s wife and Alex’s mother, was unhappy with the book and believed it contained inaccuracies. On more than one occasion we asked for a meeting with Kevin, Beth, Alex and their agent to discuss and correct any inaccuracies, but Beth would not agree to such a meeting.”
According to the Washington Post, there is some controversy over when Alex first recanted his claim and objected to the book, which the newspaper said has sold more than 1 million copies.
Tyndale’s book contract was only with Alex’s father, Kevin Malarkey, and his mother, Beth Malarkey, voiced objections to the memoir in April, saying Alex “has not received monies from the book nor have a majority of his needs been funded by it,” The Post reported.
“It is both puzzling and painful to watch the book ‘The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven’ not only continue to sell, but to continue, for the most part, to not be questioned,” she wrote on her blog.
“Alex’s name and identity are being used against his wishes. … How can this be going on??? Great question. … How did it get this far? … another great question.”
Alex Malarkey’s open letter:
“An Open Letter to Lifeway and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven.”
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.
It is only through repentance of your sins and a belief in Jesus as the Son of God, who died for your sins (even though he committed none of his own) so that you can be forgiven may you learn of Heaven outside of what is written in the Bible…not by reading a work of man. I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough.
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