Alex Malarkey‘s best-selling tale of his brush with death and trip to heaven was apparently nothing more than malarkey.
“I did not die,” he wrote in a new open letter this week. “I did not go to Heaven.”
The author, now a teenager, rose to fame with the release of 2010’s The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, his harrowing story of a terrifying car crash and subsequent two-month coma, during which time he said his body stayed in the hospital while he traveled to heaven.
Malarkey penned his letter about the honesty and accuracy of the book, which sold more than six million copies. He wrote to the Christian book company LifeWay to come clean, titling the note, “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,” begins Malarkey, who is now paralyzed because of the accident. “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.”
While said people have clearly profited from the New York Times best seller, the young man’s mom Beth wrote on her personal blog last year that he is not one of them. “He has not received monies from the book nor have a majority of his needs been funded by it,” writes Beth, who is divorced from Alex’s father Kevin Malarkey, the co-author of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.
“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,” Alex continues in his letter. “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 the days since Alex’s note made its way online, distributors have followed the author’s plea. According to the Washington Post, Christian publisher Tyndale House will no longer sell the book, and Lifeway is reported to follow suit.
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