(RNS) A Christian publisher will stop selling “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven” now that the young subject paralyzed in a car crash says the story of going to heaven is not true.

Tyndale House told both NPR and The Washington Post that it will withdraw the best-selling 2010 book by Alex Malarkey and his father, Kevin Malarkey.

The publisher made the decision after Alex wrote an “open letter” to the retailer LifeWay which said, “I did not die. I did not go to Heaven.” It was posted on the Pulpit and Pen website.

The Malarkey book is one of a spate of best-sellers about and by those who say they have gone to heaven and returned. The best-known is “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo, a No. 1 USA Today best-seller, which was turned into a movie.

“The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven” peaked at No. 46 on USA Today’s list.

Alex Malarkey was severely injured in a car accident, and his reported visions of heaven formed the basis of the book, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven," which he now says was a fake. Via YouTube.

Alex Malarkey was severely injured in a car accident, and his reported visions of heaven formed the basis of the book, “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,” which he now says was a fake. Via YouTube.YouTube

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 According to the publisher’s description of the book, “in 2004, Kevin Malarkey and his 6-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.”

But in his open letter, Alex wrote: “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 also said: “Please forgive the brevity (of the letter), but because of my (medical) limitations I have to keep this short.”

(Jocelyn McClurg writes for USA Today)



  1. The Great God Pan

    Gotta love that last name!

    But one question remains: If he admits he was lying AND his book contains details he couldn’t have known because he was unconscious, doesn’t his father and co-author also have some ‘fessing up to do?

  2. This is another example of what not to do. Do NOT put your trust in the writings and stories of others above what is taught in scripture. God’s Word is trustworthy. The writings of men will fail us. Jesus is the Rock of salvation, all else is sinking sand. Receive Christ as Lord and Savior and know His peace that comes through forgiveness of sins. Follow Him as He leads through His Word and His Holy Spirit and turn away from those things that He does not want for you and you will be blessed and walk in His light.

    • Mark, really, the whole Jesus-salvation story, the centerpiece of the mythology of your cult, is a steaming pile of nonsense out of the gate. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn’t do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus’ death a “sacrifice”, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers?

      Pretty pathetic “god” that you’ve made for yourself there.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

    • Mark,

      “what is taught in scripture.”

      Yes. Like this:

      “The Zombies rose up out of their graves and ate crumpets at the tea shops of Jerusalem. They visited for several days having grown back their skin and muscles so they could walk from house to house in bare feet. Fortunately, nobody was scared of them and they had places to sleep and plenty of food to eat – even though they were dead” – (Matthew 27:52)

      Just sayin’

      • Atheism Smells Bad

        No seriously, seriously, as in scientifically seriously, everything in the universe was caused by absolutely nothing doing it.

        Why are you laughing?

        Atheism, one of the most hilarious jokes of all time. No serious;y,of ALL TIME. As in scientifically, all time.

        0 x everything is answered by atheism as material.

        Stop laughing, it’s not nice.

        • A S Bad,

          Water knows how to go out of a drain. How does it know that by itself?
          How do plants know how to find nutrients in the ground? How do plants know so much?
          How do rocks know how to roll down hills. They never roll upward, only down. How do rocks know so much?

          How did the universe “know” how to initiate itself from quarks?
          Probably the same way. Because that is what science suggests.

          You won’t convince me that “Zombies did it” (Matthew 27:52)

          • Your argument doesn’t make sense. If you can tell me how something came from nothing, then I’ll say atheism makes sense.

    • I don’t think your really looking for a response. You seem to have blocked God out of your life. “The fool has said in his heart there is no God” Psalm 53:1 amen to that. For those who are seeking answers, looking for peace and truth: “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him, and he with me.” Jesus Christ (Rev 3:20) Receive Christ as Savior and Lord, and know the peace of God that passes all understanding.

  3. How does Lifeway know which NDE books are fake and which are true if they accept some of them can be fake?

  4. Poor kid was victimized by parents and family – thanks to religion.

    I don’t blame this kid. Children are rewarded and patted on the head for reciting their prayers properly and for ‘testifying their faith’ while having no idea what the hell they are getting roped into. Of course they are going to make up stuff!

    Stop telling kids religious nonsense. If you cannot prove something to be true, don’t claim it to be so. That is just lying to your kids.

    You can’t blame kids for making up stories and following BS if that is how you normally run your own life anyway – listening to priests and following ridiculous claims.

    Religion is a lie generator.

    • Yet people are foolish enough to still lie to their children that Santa is a real person (in the name of “religion”), when he simply does not exist. Many “Christian” holidays are based upon pagan traditions centuries ago!! Go figure.

      • Fran,

        “The Walking Dead roamed around and visited with the people of Jerusalem telling them all sorts of weird stories” (Matthew 27:52)

        Think about the regular religious stories you tell children and you will notice that they are all made up as well.

        Religion is a lie generator.

        • Atheism Smells Bad

          Says the man that holds his everything on nothing becoming something all by itself.

          Atheism, uh yeah.

          • I have no idea how the universe started.
            And neither do you.

            “A God Did It” sounds like the worst answer. Totally pretend.
            But I’m fascinated that you are so sure it was one god and not 2 gods.
            Or 44 gods or 5983 gods.
            How did you determine this?
            And if God started it, who started that god? Another god from before?
            And how did you determine this?
            And how can you claim it when nobody else agrees?

            Does god exist? I don’t know – but I certainly don’t believe in it.

        • Do I detect a new level of contempt towards the Christian scriptures coming from Max? The Waking Dead? Zombies? Perhaps he feels is easier to misrepresent than spending time studying scripture with an ounce of intellectual integrity. Either way, the chuckles I get from his writings are well worth the time I spend reading his posts!!

          “Viva Cristo Rey!!”

    • “If you cannot prove something to be true, don’t claim it to be so. ” You can’t prove atheism to be true.

      • no one can prove a negative. The onus is on the believer to prove the positive, just like a court of law. so…prove your god exists.

  5. it is important to realize that all human experience is written in languages and metaphors for the sake of understanding this experience. Some may call on god to help foster a keener awareness of our purpose here, and others may find the same sense of unity and reverence in nature or some other expression. In my book, Chiseled, I document my bout with such purpose as a former TV evangelist linked to Pat Robertson, and how I came around to finding peace in a rather unique way. Our lives are all expressions of this creation. You might find some inspiration in Chiseled, available on Amazon.

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