Tyndale House Publishers was saddened to hear that Alex Malarkay, the six-year-old boy whose experience was published in their 2010 release The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, is now saying that he made up the story of dying and going to heaven. In a recent statement to the industry, Tyndale said this was the first time they had been told that Alex fabricated the story. Alex made a public statement on Jan. 14, which the publisher has confirmed with his father, Kevin Malarkey. As a result, Tyndale immediately put the book and all ancillary products into out-of-print status, and removed all links from Tyndale’s corporate sites.
According to a statement Tyndale released on Jan. 16, about two years ago they became aware that Alex’s mother, Beth Malarkey, was unhappy with the book and believed it contained inaccuracies. Editors tried on multiple occasions to meet with the family to correct any perceived inaccuracies, but Beth sent an email on May 22, 2012 stating that, out of concern for her son, she didn’t wish to meet. A Tyndale spokesman told CBA the publisher had no reason at that time to believe that any of the inaccuracies had anything to do with Alex’s account of going to heaven, and confirmed that neither he nor his father—the authors of the book—ever retracted his story prior to this past week.
In addressing recent publicity implying that Tyndale House never paid royalties on this book, Tyndale said they paid every penny that is due under the terms of the author contract.