I know the publisher has said the book was pulled from print. However, at least some retailers continue to sell the book. I called several local Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million stores to find out if Tyndale House had recalled the books. None of the four locations I called had heard of the controversy and they all had copies in stock.
Tyndale House has disabled the book’s product page.
Tyndale has not responded to questions about whether they intend to recall the product or simply not print the book again. Tyndale claims that Alex Malarkey’s mother declined to meet with Tyndale, but Phil Johnson has produced emails which appear to contradict that story. Kevin Malarkey has not responded to requests for comment, although the UK Daily Mail says his parents are standing by him.
It has been removed from Amazon.
Just a bit ago, Alex Malarkey’s mother issued a statement. One important fact she cleared up is that the Malarkeys are not divorced.
A STATEMENT FROM BETH MALARKEY
For at least three years, my son Alex Malarkey has been speaking the truth and pleading to be heard regarding The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven. I’m thankful to the Pulpit and Pen blog for posting Alex’s open letter last week and finally helping his voice to be heard. The sudden interest of the media has meant that many reporters are seeking to investigate the story and I would love to answer every question, but since 2006, I have been Alex’s only nonstop caregiver, and I also have three more precious children to care for. So I’m forced to say no to all interview requests. I hope people understand. The facts of the case are being heard, through sources like the Pulpit & Pen website (http://pulpitandpen.org/) and the Grace to You blog (http://www.gty.org/Blog/B150116/setting-the-record-straight).
I do stand with my son and I’m proud of the courage he has shown. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4).
I also want to correct one glaring error that has appeared in countless news articles over the past few days: I have not divorced my husband and I am not planning to pursue a divorce. Kevin and I are still married. My hope is that all of this can be resolved in a way that exalts Christ by honoring the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:14). That, likewise, has been Alex’s only aim in all his attempts to set the record straight.
“Now may the God of peace . . . equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21).
I imagine things have gotten crazy in that the story has gone world-wide. For instance, the Today Show covered it yesterday:
UPDATE 2 (1/17/15) – Last night Tyndale released a statement indicating that the company has stopped printing The Boy book because of information they received this week.
Earlier this week Tyndale learned that Alex Malarkey, co-author of ‘The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven,’ was retracting the story he had told his father and that he recounted in the book they co-authored for publication in 2010. It is because of this new information that we are taking the book out of print. For the past couple of years we have known that Beth Malarkey, Kevin’s wife and Alex’s mother, was unhappy with the book and believed it contained inaccuracies. On more than one occasion we asked for a meeting with Kevin, Beth, Alex and their agent to discuss and correct any inaccuracies, but Beth would not agree to such a meeting.
However, Phil Johnson continues to dispute this narrative saying that Beth and Alex wanted to meet with Tyndale (see this link for emails).
It is not clear if Tyndale is pulling product from the shelves or just not reprinting the book.
UPDATE: Phil Johnson claims Tyndale House knew two years ago that the Boy Who Came Back from Heaven was invented. Beth Malarkey retweeted this link when Johnson posted it. I expect to hear from her soon, but as of now all I am hearing is crickets from Tyndale House.
Tyndale House Publishers knew two years ago that Kevin Malarkey’s book was a fraud—and that’s not the worst of it: http://t.co/lAe5vz1Kte
……………. (Original post begins here)
Yesterday afternoon, Tyndale House announced that the company would no longer publish the Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.
The book had been a best-seller and was the basis for a television movie of the same name in 2010. There are at least two big questions for Tyndale House now that the company will no longer print the book. I asked Tyndale House spokesperson Todd Starowitz these questions yesterday via email and twitter and left phone messages, thus far with no answers.
First, what now happens to all of the existing product? We know that Lifeway Christian Stores is returning existing product to the publisher, but what about other retailers? Even though negative reviews are now piling up, Amazon still carries the book without disclaimer. Barnes and Noble still has it available. A local Barnes and Noble store still had a copy of the book and had not heard about the retraction. The staff there had not gotten a request from Tyndale to pull products off the shelves. On the other hand, Family Christian Bookstores are pulling the book off the shelves and the manager of the one I called said Tyndale had requested them. Thus far, Tyndale’s spokesperson has not replied about the company’s plans.
The second, and more difficult question is: When did Tyndale House learn that Beth Malarkey and her son denied the contents of the book? Given how long Alex Malarkey’s mom has been speaking out on this matter, it is hard to understand how Tyndale House did not know about it. However, neither Tyndale House nor Beth Malarkey has not responded to requests for this specific information.
The answers to these questions have consequences in dollar signs and trust. If Tyndale does not make a good faith effort to pull existing product off the shelves, they risk further erosion in their image, while making additional money from unsuspecting customers. If Tyndale House knew the boy had recanted his story, then some disclosure should have been made with a proactive public statement. One hopes Tyndale House will move to quickly restore public trust by disclosing the reasons for waiting until yesterday, just after Lifeway Stores pulled the products from the shelves, to take a similar step.
UPDATE: The website supporting the book is now down (google cache as of January 15, 2015). The domain is owned by Tyndale House. The product page on Tyndale’s website still is up as is the promo video on the You Tube page.
UPDATE: Tyndale is pulling the book, according to the Washington Post. However, as far as I can tell, existing product will remain available, except at Lifeway Stores.
On January 13, Alex Malarkey released a retraction of his claims in the book Boy Who Came Back from Heaven. The retraction was issued to the Pulpit and Pen blog.
In response to my question about the book, Martin King, Director of Communications at Lifeway issued a statement saying the stores are pulling the book:
LifeWay was informed this week that Alex Malarkey has retracted his testimony about visiting heaven as told in the book “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.” Therefore, we are returning to the publisher the few copies we have in our Stores.
“An Open Letter to Lifeway and Other Sellers, Buyers, and Marketers of Heaven Tourism, by the Boy Who Did Not Come Back From Heaven.”
Please forgive the brevity, but because of my limitations I have to keep this short.
I did not die. 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.