A book listed among the New York Times best sellers, published five years ago, about a six-year-old boy who claimed that he went to heaven and saw angels after being involved in a terrible car accident, has turned out to be fabricated.
Alex Malarkey, who along with his father co-authored the book, The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, earlier last week came forward and confessed that 'he made the whole thing up.'
Tyndale House, the book promoters, had called it "a supernatural encounter that will give you new insights on Heaven, angels, and hearing the voice of God." [via Amazon]
An NPR report stated that Tyndale House will take "the book and all ancillary products out of print".
The whole story was found to have been a hoax after Alex Malarkey wrote an open letter to retailer LifeWay and others who sell Christian books and religious materials. In his letter published on Pulpit and Pen website, Malarkey wrote: "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," he continued.
"Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough," he concluded.
According to New York Times, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven" was first published in 2010. The book recalled a 2004 auto accident which left Malarkey in a coma.
The book, co-written by Alex's father Kevin Malarkey, notes that the young boy had visions of angels and of meeting Jesus. In 2014, Tyndale reissued "The Boy," which on the cover includes the billing "A True Story."
As reported by Nielsen BookScan, which tracks around 85 percent of the print market, the book has sold nearly 120,000 copies, the NYT report noted.
Andrew Nappi @FloridaTenther
IRONY: Author last name is Malarkey Boy's Visit to heaven book admitted invented fiction
Phil Johnson, ن @Phil_Johnson_
I love Alex Malarkey's courage. He & his mom have tried in vain for two years or longer to honor the truth:
Geoff Heidebrecht @alwaysreform
A six year old will make up stories? *gasp* This boy tells the truth about his heaven trip
To quote Doc Holliday: "Well, this is funny..."
Jonathan Lin @lin_jonathanmo
i thought it was a fiction and it's true after all. bestselling book of NYT under non-fiction category is so much.
Steve Williams @randomswill
Boy dies, goes to heaven, returns, writes book. Turns out to be a load of Malarkey. Who'd have thought?