Alex Malarkey, who penned the 2010 New York Times best seller The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven, has now revealed that his story was made up.
Malarkey was in a car crash in 2004 that left him paralyzed and in a coma for two months when he was just six-years-old.
When Malarkey awoke, he enlightened his doctors and parents with a story about how an angel had lifted him to Heaven, where he crossed paths with Jesus and Satan.
Alex’s recollection of Heaven, as described in the novel, is as follows:
When I arrived in Heaven, I was inside the gate. The gate was really tall, and it was white.
It was very shiny, and it looked like it had scales like a fish. I was in the inner Heaven and everything was brighter and more intense on the inside of the gate. It was perfect.
Perfect is my favorite word for describing Heaven.
The boy, now 16, has come forward to claim that his story was fabricated, saying that he made it all up to get attention.
In an open letter, which was written by Malarkey and shared by his mother, he explains why he concocted the story, and also shames publishers who continue to profit from his book.
“I did not die. I did not go to Heaven,” he 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.”
In light of Alex’s revelations, several Christian publishers have announced they will discontinue the best-selling book.
Alex, who is still severely disabled as a result of the crash, is cared for by his mother in Ohio, where the two reside, along with his three siblings.
His mother wrote in a blog piece last April that she believes too many people use the word of God for personal gain. She claims that her son doesn’t receive money from the book, nor have “his needs been funded by it.” She explained:
The ones making money from the book are NOT the ones staying up through the night, struggling for their breath, or were they the ones at six years old, waking up unable to move or breathe and in a strange place after last remember seeing a car coming right at the car he was riding in.
Alex stated in his letter that reading the Bible is the only source of truth. “Anything written by man cannot be infallible,” he said.
He went on to say that to learn of Heaven, outside of what’s written in the Bible, one must repent their sins.
“I want the whole world to know that the Bible is sufficient. Those who market its materials must repent and hold the Bible as enough,” he finished.