Heaven Book is Fake
Alex Malarkey has finally had his voice heard, and he says the book he wrote with his father, The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, is fake. The incidents in the book came from the imagination of his father Kevin Malarkey for the most part, not from the young Malarkey.
In his statement, Malarkey, now a 15 year-old quadriplegic said,
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.
In Christ, Alex Malarkey”
Beth Malarkey, Alex’s mother, had made several attempts to set the record straight about the book in the past several years, both in print and on the The Bible Answerman radio program, but her comments went unheeded. It was not until Alex spoke up that there was action. Beth and her husband Kevin are married but estranged.
Tyndale House, who published the book in 2010, acted responsibly when they confirmed Malarkey’s comments. Tyndale quickly released a statement saying, “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.”
The book was one of three that had been criticized by some Christians as promoting “Heavenly Tourism.” The other books were 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey and Heaven is Real by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. The book description for The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven touted the story in this way:
In 2004, Kevin Malarkey and his six-year-old son, Alex, suffered an horrific car accident. The impact from the crash paralyzed Alex–and medically speaking, it was unlikely that he could survive. ‘I think Alex has gone to be with Jesus,’ a friend told the stricken dad. But two months later, Alex awoke from a coma with an incredible story to share. Of events at the accident scene and in the hospital while he was unconscious. Of the angels that took him through the gates of heaven itself. Of the unearthly music that sounded just ‘terrible’ to a six-year-old. And, most amazing of all . . . Of meeting and talking to Jesus. ‘The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven’ is the true story of an ordinary boy’s most extraordinary journey. As you see heaven and earth through Alex’s eyes, you’ll come away with new insights on miracles, life beyond this world, and the power of a father’s love.
All three books were promoted as “true stories” and sold millions of copies. Each has generated ancillary products like DVDs and study guides. The books were used in Sunday school classes and inspired millions of people.
The fact that Alex Malarkey has recanted his story, and that the publisher took immediate action to cease publication, is refreshing. Even LifeWay, the bookstore chain owned by Southern Baptists, says they will remove the offending books from their shelves. However, there is a lingering concern about how such books get published, and why so many gullible readers buy them.
Also, since Alex Malarkey has fessed up, will his father or financial guardians offer restitution to the public for this alleged fraud?
To his credit, Alex Malarkey pointed out that the Bible is the only reliable source of information about heaven. That is a lesson both publishers and readers needed to learn.