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A boy who claimed in a best-selling book that he died and visited heaven after a car crash that left him paralyzed is now saying he made it all up.
Nearly five years after "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven" hit best-seller lists, publisher Tyndale House announced Thursday that it's pulling the book from shelves after Alex Malarkey recanted his claim. Malarkey said he visited heaven after spending two months in a coma following a car crash when he was six years old in 2004. Malarkey, now a teenager, wrote an open letter to Christian booksellers on the website Pulpit and Pen retracting the claims in the book.
"I did not die,'' he wrote. "I did not go to Heaven. 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."
The heavenly theme in Malarkey's book stuck a chord with millions across the country. A similar book, "Heaven is For Real," was made into a feature film in 2014.
Malarkey was listed as a co-author of the book along with his father, Kevin. In April of last year, Alex's mother, Beth, who is divorced from his father, wrote in a blog post that "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." She also claimed that Alex had not received any money from the sale of the book.