The Washington Post reports…
“Tyndale House, a major Christian publisher, has announced that it will stop selling “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,” by Alex Malarkey and his father, Kevin Malarkey.
The best-selling book, first published in 2010, describes what Alex experienced while he lay in a coma after a car accident when he was 6 years old. The coma lasted two months, and his injuries left him paralyzed, but the subsequent spiritual memoir — with its assuring description of “Miracles, Angels, and Life beyond This World” — became part of a popular genre of “heavenly tourism,” which has been controversial among orthodox Christians.
Earlier this week, Alex recanted his testimony about the afterlife. In an open letter to Christian bookstores posted on the Pulpit and Pen Web site, Alex states flatly: “I did not die. I did not go to Heaven.”
Referring to the injuries that continue to make it difficult for him to express himself, Alex writes, “Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short…. 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.”
This evening, Todd Starowitz, public relations director of Tyndale House, told The Washington Post: “Tyndale has decided to take the book and related ancillary products out of print.”
Last April, Alex’s mother, Beth Malarkey, posted a statement on her own blog decrying the memoir and its promotion: “It is both puzzling and painful to watch the book ‘The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven’ not only continue to sell, but to continue, for the most part, to not be questioned.” She goes on to say that the book is not “Biblically sound” and that her son’s objections to it were ignored and repressed. She also notes that Alex “has not received monies from the book nor have a majority of his needs been funded by it.”
She ends in obvious frustration, writing: “Alex’s name and identity are being used against his wishes…. How can this be going on??? Great question…. How did it get this far?… another great question.”