The Ohio boy who became famous for claiming he visited heaven while trapped in a coma eventually admitted that the entire story was a lie.
When Alex Malarkey was six-years-old, he was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed, reports the Washington Post. Upon awakening from his deep sleep, he told his family and doctors that he reached Heaven’s gates. The boy even alleged that he came face-to-face with Satan and Jesus during his voyage, and looked down to see the wreckage of the car accident.
Obviously, his account became a best-selling book titled The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, which was written by both he and his father, Kevin.
In the book, this is what he remembers about the experience:
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.
However, when he was 16 the quadriplegic teen came forward — writing a letter to “sellers, buyers and marketers” of the book. He made it clear that the encounters he described didn’t actually happen.
The letter revealed why he chose to lie.
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.
According to the Daily Mail, Alex told a pastor at church that he made everything up but was advised to keep quiet because the book was a blessing.
Alex’s mother, Beth, had known the story was a sham for quite some time. She even shared the truth on her blog.
She said, “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.”
The Washington Post reported that Tyndale House has officially taken the book out of print, while booksellers nationwide are expected to pull the story from their shelves.