A bestselling account of a 6-year-old boy's journey to heaven and back has been pulled after the boy retracted his story.
Spokesman Todd Starowitz of Tyndale House, a leading Christian publisher, confirmed that Alex Malarkey's "The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven: A Remarkable Account of Miracles, Angels, and Life Beyond This World" was being withdrawn.
Malarkey said in an open letter last week that he was lying, saying that he had been seeking attention. He also regretted that "people had profited from lies."
"I did not die. I did not go to Heaven," he wrote. "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 Boy Who Came Back From Heaven" was first published in 2010 and told of a 2004 auto accident that left Malarkey in a coma. According to the book, cowritten by Alex's father, Kevin Malarkey, he had visions of angels and of meeting Jesus.
Tyndale reissued "The Boy" in 2014 with a cover calling it a "true story." It has sold 120,000 copies.
The facts of "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven" have long been disputed in the Christian community. One of the leading critics has been Malarkey's mother, Beth. In April 2014, she wrote a blog posting saying that the book's success had been "both puzzling and painful to watch" and that she believed Alex had been exploited.