January 16, 2015 9:00 pm -

[su_right_ad]The best-selling Christian book is being pulled from the shelves.

The 2010 memoir, “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,” was written by Alex Malarkey and his father, Kevin Malarkey, a Christian therapist in Ohio.

In 2004, when Alex was 6, the two were badly injured in an automobile accident. Alex ended up in a coma for two months, and the book claims to tell the story of his trips to [su_r_sky_ad]heaven during that time.

Malarkey described a heaven with a “hole in outer heaven” that goes to hell. He detailed his conversations with Jesus Christ and meetings with the devil, who at one point blamed him for the accident.

But on Tuesday, the boy, who was left a quadriplegic in the accident, took it all back. The Pulpit & Pen website published “An Open Letter to Lifeway and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven,” written by Alex.

“I did not die. I did not go to Heaven,” Alex wrote in the open letter, adding:

“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.

…Beth Malarkey, Alex’s mother and caregiver, is divorced from Kevin Malarkey. She told the Patheos website that she was troubled by the book, and pointed to a blog post she wrote about it last April.

“It is both puzzling and painful to watch the book ‘The Boy who Came Back from Heaven’ to not only continue to sell, but to continue, for the most part, to not be questioned,” Beth Malarkey wrote at the time. She said her son had not benefitted financially from the book.

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D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

54 responses to Alex Malarkey, ‘The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,’ Admits He Made It All Up

  1. lafrique January 16th, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    jesus refunds

    • rg9rts January 17th, 2015 at 2:35 am

      But Moses invests

      • Hirightnow January 17th, 2015 at 7:14 am

        Buddha pays dividends.

  2. tiredoftea January 16th, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I’m shocked! Shocked, I tell you, that the boy has recanted his story.

    • whatthe46 January 16th, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      sounds like the mother was upset that she nor her son were profitting from the book, considering she’s his caregiver. she knew this was a lie and wrong from the beginning.

      • tiredoftea January 16th, 2015 at 10:05 pm

        Yeah, lot’s of family values going on in that house.

        • rg9rts January 17th, 2015 at 2:35 am


      • rg9rts January 17th, 2015 at 2:34 am

        Good christians one and all

  3. tracey marie January 16th, 2015 at 9:21 pm


    • rg9rts January 17th, 2015 at 2:34 am

      HAAAH HOOOH THWACK TAG skimper skamper pum pum

  4. Guy Lauten January 16th, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Another grift on the back of “faith” exposed.

  5. Jake January 16th, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    A Christian book with lies in it — how can that possibly be.

  6. whatthe46 January 16th, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    “Anything written by man cannot be infallible.”” who does he think wrote the bible?

    • Dwendt44 January 17th, 2015 at 12:36 am

      And much of the bible is a mere copy of other older religions and beliefs.

  7. ExPFCWintergreen January 16th, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Well, he’s got the right name, anyway.

  8. Carla Akins January 16th, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Shame on his parents, he just a child- a baby really -trying to make his parents happy. Complicating this child’s life at a time when he should have only been loved and supported is disgusting.

    • burqa January 16th, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      Yeah, and the poor kid’s a quadriplegic. I can’t get up any anger toward the kid for making up a story that didn’t hurt anybody.
      I guess people will want to pile on the parents, too, but I can’t really pull that one either even though my own theology contradicts that of theirs.
      One hopes it is a good fictional story.
      I happen to like reading fiction, though stories like this are not my cup of tea.
      I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiiction and in the back of my mind I’ve been thinking of mixing in a fiction selection. Right now, leaders in the clubhouse are going back toFalk ner’s “Absalom Absalom”, James Michener’s “Chesapeake” or Hemingways “The Sun Also Rises.”

      • rg9rts January 17th, 2015 at 2:32 am

        Its labeled as such…historical fiction…operative word in this case is fiction….this was an attempt top cash in on religious boobs and separate them from their money…Maybe it was my catholic school indoctrination but even at age 6 I knew what a lie was…

      • Carla Akins January 17th, 2015 at 7:34 am

        I love non-fiction, all of it. I read anything and everything but mystery suspense is my favorite genre. I also read everything by John Irving and Wally Lamb no matter how they make me feel in the end (not feel good books) because something in those books, always changes me for the better.

        I also believe what these parents did to this child is abuse. His parents knew the story was a total fabrication (because they made it up) and forced him into lying resulting in theft by deception. But more importantly what kind of psychological damage did they do to this child.

        Asking him to repeat this story, for whatever reason (we all know it was greed) essentially told him they couldn’t love him enough unless he participated in the deception? Can you imagine the pressure on an adolescent – all while trying to accept the changes for his life and what it meant for the future

        I can and do blame the parents because they are horrible people and terrible parents for placing their child in such a precarious position If they weren’t need to provide for his care, I would champion the imprisonment.

        • burqa January 17th, 2015 at 8:15 am

          I agree about this kid’s family. There’s more than just the dishonesty because of the subject. That makes it more bothersome because faith in people’s life is a very tender thing, it’s very personal.
          It looks to me as if there’s some weirdness going on there and I’d want Social Services over there checking things out.

          One story I’ve been wanting to read is “A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote. The movie by that title that he narrates and which has a stunning performance by Geraldine Page is my favorite for the season. At night when everyone else is watching TV I’m reading and often studying one of several subjects of interest. That’s all non-fiction history and biographies, mostly, so I need a break from time to time.
          I much enjoy the writing in the Oxford American literary magazine.

        • Suzanne McFly January 17th, 2015 at 9:16 am

          Wally Lamb taught at my high school. I love reading his books because the places he is talking about are places around here. Three Rivers, for an example, is a local community college.

          • Carla Akins January 17th, 2015 at 9:26 am

            I credit “I Know This Much Is True” for changing my life, literally. His stuff is complex and often not pretty but very, very much like real life. The Hour I First Believed, is a perfect example of how your life can take a downward spiral in a way you just can’t imagine, regardless of how much you plan ahead. I hear people say “I would never do that, or that would never happen to me” and I always think of this book.

          • Suzanne McFly January 17th, 2015 at 9:54 am

            I have two of his books on my nightstand now, we are water and the hour I first believed. Sometimes I am creeped out by how sexual my high school teacher is but at the same time it humanizes him.

          • Carla Akins January 17th, 2015 at 10:56 am

            I like that it humanizes him, even for me (not one of his students) its an honest stark look behind the curtain so to speak.

          • burqa January 17th, 2015 at 10:33 am

            Now you two ladies have me intrigued. What kinds of things does this Lamb gentleman write about?
            Of current authors, Martin Amis is one I like a lot and have not read his latest two novels.
            Please, tell me more about Lamb…..

          • Suzanne McFly January 17th, 2015 at 4:35 pm

            He is a very good writer who simply writes fictional stories, but does so in a way you can picture what he is talking about. He talks about areas around my home town so I not only can picture what he is talking about, I can actually personalize it by including my own memories of the area. Oprah had him in her book club, he is just masterful at writing stories anyone can assimilate to.

          • burqa January 17th, 2015 at 6:00 pm

            Thank you so much Ms. McFly. You and Ms. Akins obviously read and are passionate about it and I’ve already learned to pay close attention to what y’all say, so I’m going to be looking out for Wally Lamb.
            Does he write in serials – like do I need to start with the first of a series or to get to know certain characters or settings?
            Please offer your suggestions where to start.
            (Years ago I recall a 10-volume espionage series by Len Deighton I read. I began about 3 or 4 books in and going back to the beginning was a mess, so I’d prefer, in such a case, to start in a good place.I’m in your hands, ladies.

            [burqa sweeps his fedora off his head, drops to a knee as he sweeps his hat wide to one side and bows forward]

          • Suzanne McFly January 17th, 2015 at 6:46 pm

            You are a charmer, aren’t you Burqa? 🙂
            You don’t have to start on any specific book, they will have similar places in these books but none will rely on another to comprehend what the story line is.

          • burqa January 18th, 2015 at 6:33 pm

            Thank you for the compliment, Ms. McFly. It’s how I was raised. It is always a pleasure to display good manners.
            I enjoy good writing regardless of the topic.
            I can easily see how placing some of these stories in the area around where you’re from makes them more meaningful. I read a lot of history and living where I do (near Fredericksburg, Va.) makes some of the early history of this country more real when one walks the same streets and sees some of the same sights.
            I would thank you for any suggestions.
            It may take me a while to get to it, but I will try to remember this commitment to get back to you when I have read one of Mr. Lamb’s books.

          • Suzanne McFly January 18th, 2015 at 6:52 pm

            I love history, that is what my degree is in. I imagine you have an immense amount of knowledge available to you living in such a historic place. Connecticut has so much historically to offer if a person is willing to look for it. Enjoy your reading my friend.

          • burqa January 18th, 2015 at 10:07 pm

            I can’t get enough of it. From time to time I make a run at my genealogy. Though I’ve surprised some in the family by adding a number of names, the main thing I’ve been trying to do is add details of the lives of various ancestors. Fortunately I’ve had access to an extraordinary treasure trove of books containing information going back to Jamestown. Hold on, after this post I’ll follow with something I found on one of my ancestors.

            I have had some fine times in Connecticut. I’m a sailor and have always been drawn to Mystic and finally made it and can’t wait to get back. I’ve sold many paintings and ink drawings of sailing ships. I also went to the submarine museum at Groton. A town I much enjoyed visiting is Stonington. That is one very, very lovely town. I could spend years there just drawing the houses. I’m also a carpenter specializing in historic restoration and was drawn to some of the very sweet gingerbread and other decorative touches. We need more of people hiring the highly-skilled and cutting them loose to create and there’s a lot of that in Stonington.

          • burqa January 18th, 2015 at 10:15 pm

            For Ms. McFly, just for fun.
            On April 18, 1710, Philip Ludwell and Nathaniel Harrison
            were commissioned to establish the border between Virginia and North Carolina. They began a journal on July 18, 1710 and set out in September to survey the border. I am a descendant of Francis Jones. PLEASE note that it is the neighbor’s kids who all have the itch:

            Journal entry, May 26, 1711:

            “We parted from Collo Wilson and rid 13 mile, most of it bad way, to Locaty Swamp bridge which is 550 yrds long and Instead of planks is covered only with Cypress Slips which are malled out for that purpose 5 or 6 foot long and laid on loose (as most of theyr bridges are) soe that every step a man is in danger of spoiling his horse and being over head and ears in the mud and water we rid on 9 mile further to Mr. Francis Jones on the West side of North river where we were directed to goe for the best passage over North river, when we came here the man was from home but Mrs. Jones was very kind to us, she sent her negroe to some of the neighbors to get help to sett us over the river but they were all gone abroad; at last the sun drawing very low we found ourselves under a necessity (if we would proceed) to goe to work, some of us carried doun 2 old leaky canoes above 3 mile doun a creek to the river while the rest carried the horses 3 mile through a terrible myery Pocoson to a very great marsh to the River side where we were forced to plunge them over head and ears at once into the water from the Marsh, and swim them over the River about ½ mile broad to Stephen Burgesses, to whose house we got just after it was dark very wett, dirty and tyred with the fatigue of the day, but to comfort us we soon found that this little house which was well filled was full of the Itch, the whole family had it, but the children had it to a great Excess and they tole us that all the neighborhood had it so we made a virtue of necessity and lodged here all night.
            It is said of this Mrs. Jones from whose house we came that she is a very civil woman and shews nothing of ruggedness or Immodesty in her carriage, yet she will carry a gunn in the woods and kill deer, turkeys, &c., shoot doun wild cattle, catch and tye hogs, knock down beeves with an axe and perform the most manful Exercises as well as most men in those parts.”

          • Suzanne McFly January 19th, 2015 at 12:04 pm

            Thank you for sharing that Burqa, I love reading stories like this. When I was down in Florida I found a book at the library, in this book where letters and diary writings of slaves who where down south during the Civil War and they were either living there “freely” or traveling north. There were about 50 letters and notes from 50 different slaves. I loved to see the world through their eyes, it was just snip-its of time, but so much more knowledge was gained than I ever could of expected. It is their world from their own mouths and that is priceless.
            I love how you tell me it is the neighbor kids who have the itch and not your decedents. 🙂

          • burqa January 19th, 2015 at 9:27 pm

            Well thank you kindly, Ms. McFly. I have many such stories. Not only the ones of my ancestors, but personal ones that many enjoy and have encouraged me to write down and publish. Doing so is an ongoing late-night project and I’ve got about 50 of them done.
            I was brought up hearing stories of many ancestors in a way that made them living and real, as if they were in the next room or only recently deceased. Were we to meet, I would be happy to tell you some stories.

            A really interesting book on the abolitionist movement is a memoir by Moncure Daniel Conway. Not exactly a well-known figure, he came to my attention because I drive by his home regularly, it has historic markers outside and I used to know a guy whose family owns it as a private residence.

            Moncure Daniel Conway grew up on a farm in Stafford County, Va. and got his divinity degree at Princeton, as I recall. He became a prominent abolitionist and in his book are accounts of him meeting Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman and Emmerson.
            Conway came back during the War to free about 75 slaves held by his family, but they were gone. He heard they had gone north and went to D.C. where a large encampment of runaway slaves was. The first place he went there was where his slaves were, and he led them north to safety. The story is quite moving.
            He also was appointed as a representative in Britain to try to keep the Brits neutral during the War.

            Here’s his memoir:

            Here’s a bit about his house:

          • Suzanne McFly January 20th, 2015 at 11:47 am

            I am so much more amazed by the people we never hear about in our history books because their history hasn’t been scripted to support their “heroism”. I will definitely look up Mr. Moncure Daniel Conway, thank you for sharing. I would love to hear your stories, you are very engaging on a small news board I imagine you are even far more interesting in person.

          • burqa January 20th, 2015 at 9:58 pm

            You are too kind, Ms. McFly!
            I continue to be amazed at what is becoming available online. I still prefer to take notes from books, there are incredible things people are scanning and making available. The story of the survey party reaching the farm of Francis Jones took place in Southampton County, Va. Beginning at the start of the 18th century, my ancestors moved down there from the James River. The historical society there has put all their records online from the colonial period. Court records, land transactions, births and deaths, the whole shebang is there now and I’ve been adding all sorts of things to my family tree, fleshing out their lives.

            Here’s one for ya: There is a mystery yet to be unraveled. In my research I am working my way toward solving it, in my own way. One of the women in my Jones line, Sarah C. Jones, married a man named Hamilton Jones (no relation). Almost nothing is known of Hamilton Jones, other than he was born about 1795 in Virginia, married my direct ancestor Sarah C. Jones, moved to Limestone County Alabama where he lived near and was close friends with someone named – get this – Hamilton Jones, and died in Marianna, Arkansas.
            One of my uncles was in an antique shop in Charlestoon, S.C. looking at paintings. A portrait caught his eye and he asked about it. The shopkeeper said they did not know the painter, but knew the subject and date of the painting. It was a man named Hamilton Jones from Virginia whose age matched that of my ancestor, who I have ascertained was the only Hamilton Jones born within over a decade on ether side of 1795. The shape of the nose of the subject of the painting is just like that of family members on that side.
            Fortunately, my uncle is wealthy and was able to purchase the painting.

            Returning to Connecticut is on my ‘Want List.’ Primarily I want to revisit Mystic and Stonington and get some artwork done. I would be blessed were you to join me for tea somewhere for a visit.

          • Suzanne McFly January 22nd, 2015 at 3:36 pm

            I have been wanting to respond, but I wanted to do it at a time where I was sitting down and thinking about what I was saying. I don’t want to be in a rush when I read your posts, I want to read as well as fully comprehend what you are saying.
            I was finally able to read your post and it sounds like you are doing a lot of searching to find out about your past. I imagine the name Jones is turning up a lot of unneeded information for you, but going back so far, any name you would be using would turn up a lot of info you don’t need anyway. The internet is amazing and how much information can be found here, of course you can go to the town halls and look up information as well but I have never done that and I can only imagine is must be tedious. I know (and I am sure you do as well) there are places you can pay to do a sort of background check on you and your family, they even use DNA. Let me know about your searches and how they are coming. I am kind of jealous, I love doing research, but unfortunately I don’t have the time.
            I know some great places we could get tea, my favorite tea is green, pretty much everyone else’s favorite also. I am including a pic my sister did of my dogs who have passed on and are waiting for their mommy. She also is an artist and I am amazed at her ability, I look at this painting an I can see my dogs exactly as they once were.

          • burqa January 23rd, 2015 at 10:44 pm

            First off, your sister is very talented. That’s a terrific picture, and so kind of her to do it for you!


            I have tons to do in my genealogy. Fortunately a great deal has already been done by others, with several different lines being traced back a thousand years. I’ve been concentrating on this Jones line because it interests me and because they came to Virginia and I have access to an extraordinary collection of old Va. records.
            Mainly what I’m doing is trying to fill out information on various individuals to get a better idea of their lives. Being Southern, I grew up hearing of a number of my ancestors and have always wanted to know about others.
            One of the indexes I use is called Swem, and it is online, but I find it a lot easier to work with the book itself.
            One source I have access to is of Virginia House of Burgesses records from the colonial period. It’s easy to get distracted, because there are court cases recorded there that will put you on the floor laughing.
            One nice source is the National Archives. There I discovered a New Deal program called the Historic American Building Survey. They surveyed a house built by my ancestors. Unfortunately, much of what I’ve found online about it is incorrect, but here is the HABS survey of the Matthew Jones House. The chimneys date from the first house which was built circa 1660. At a later date the first floor and the tower-like structure on the front were built, then in 1727 the second story was added:


            I drink green tea daily. If I can make it up there this summer I would be delighted to make your acquaintance. Sometime when we’re here at the same time we can go in the Chat Room and exchange email or FaceBook addys…

          • Suzanne McFly January 24th, 2015 at 4:29 pm

            Thanks for you nice comments about my sisters picture. I was so surprised someone would spend hours on a gift for me and I was so happy and flattered my sister did. We are very close as my whole family is.
            I would love to hear some of the stories you have read, I am sure they are hilarious. We always try to pretend our ancestors have lived lives as saints and they were the hardest workers who had no human faults like we have in society today, but yet you will find so many crazy things these “darlings” have done and you will realize how human they actually where. I studied Great Brittan during WWII and the atrocities that occurred between classes and genders would turn the stomachs of the most hardened criminals. There was zero concern for life, regardless of age, class, or gender.
            Thank you for sharing the pics of the house your family members worked on. The chimney is beautiful. The work that was done to make houses was labor intensive and great care went into how it looked and held up through the years. Now today we make houses in factories and ship them to destinations to have people live in.

          • Suzanne McFly January 24th, 2015 at 4:30 pm

            I forgot to add, I have no problem talking to you in the chat room. I never have done it so just let me know what to do.

          • Suzanne McFly January 19th, 2015 at 12:06 pm

            I also was stationed in Groton, my dad still works at EB. I like Stonington, but Mystic is my favorite town. I am glad you liked this area, it seems like a lot of sailors can’t wait to leave. They are young and want to find streets lined with bars and have no concern for architecture or history.

  9. algionfriddo January 16th, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    So… sky fairies aren’t real?

  10. Maxx44 January 16th, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Their last name should have been a clue.

  11. majii January 16th, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Ummm, I’m wondering who decided to persuade Alex to tell this lie? My instincts are telling me it was his “dear” old dad.

  12. Dwendt44 January 17th, 2015 at 12:38 am

    A coma is not death or even near death. There are all kinds of ways a person experiences ‘out of body’ visions, and that all they are, imaginary visions.

  13. fancypants January 17th, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Oh goody more bible thumping stories

  14. Apocalypse January 17th, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Whew…I can go back to being an atheist now.

  15. rg9rts January 17th, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Laughing all the way to the bank!!! LOL… Two tip offs….malarky and christian LOL

  16. Suzanne McFly January 17th, 2015 at 9:17 am

    The kid doesn’t seem to understand Bible is also written by man.

  17. dave-dr-gonzo January 17th, 2015 at 9:44 am

    “Malarkey” indeed: the other Roger Ailes has the best punchline of all!

  18. bpollen January 17th, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Egads! But Narnia, Hogwart’s, Never Never Land, Lilliput, and Tatooine are real, right? Right?

  19. Bunya January 17th, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    I’ll bet his parents are pissed – as they watch the millions they would’ve made on the book, fly out the window.

  20. liberalMD January 18th, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Oh, well……did anyone really think he wasn’t full of Malarkey?

  21. Foundryman January 19th, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Hmmm…I wonder if it was just a co-incidence his father was a born again christian therapist……hmmmm….i wonder…..