The boy who came back from bulldust


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.”




8 thoughts on “The boy who came back from bulldust

  1. Yes, I want to merely label you with a well worn pejorative and dismiss the argument……but only because it would be unloving to argue with you and call you a liberal commie twit….


  2. Do you want to engage with the point, or merely label me with a well worn pejorative and dismiss the argument?

    It is well known that personal experience and memory is unreliable – backed by scientific studies such as by Elizabeth Loftus. Eyewitness testimony has been refuted many times in legal appeals by dna or other evidence.

    It is not post-modernist to say that personal experience is unreliable. It is post-modernist to say that it dosent matter that it is unreliable – that is not my position, is it yours?


  3. “Yet modern evangelical and pentecostal Christianity emphasises personal testimony, almost above everything else. They will pay lip-service to the doctrine of the Bible being the only reliable standard…(blah blah blah)”

    Yet according to Wazza personal experience and the Bible are both wholly unreliable….

    Post-modern poetry in motion 🙂


  4. The testimony of children is notoriously unreliable, but then again anyone’s testimony of experience is known to be generally unreliable. Memories of even external events are often changed due to social pressures or suggestion. Memories of subjective events are even more changeable.

    People have had ‘recovered memories’ of childhood abuse – under guidance from therapists – and there is no other evidence that it occurred. In the early nineties there was a moral panic about satanists in child-care centres, based on the testimony of the children who reflected the worst fears of their panicked parents and authority figures back to them.

    Yet modern evangelical and pentecostal Christianity emphasises personal testimony, almost above everything else. They will pay lip-service to the doctrine of the Bible being the only reliable standard but then will fill their services with stories of people who tithed and became rich, turned to Jesus and overcame addiction etc…

    Perhaps if one knows the person well, as part of a community, one could judge their testimony to some extent but the fantastic testimony of random people who jump up on stage or release a book is of no value at all. It is so easy for people to make something up, fool themselves perhaps and gain social approval or even financial gain from these stories.


  5. Come on, with a name like Malarkey surely someone smelt a rat? Christians are so sad at times, so in need of assurance that they’ll buy anything that reassures them that it is all true and that heaven awaits!


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