A father who co-wrote a book with his son about how the boy visited heaven after a car wreck was telling the truth, his family has said - even though the youngster has now denied the tale.
Alex Malarkey, now 16, was in a coma for two months and left paralyzed after the wreck in 2004, but when he awoke, he claimed an angel had lifted him up to heaven where he met Jesus and Satan.
With his father, Kevin Malarkey, he wrote best-selling book 'The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven' in 2010 - but this week, Alex claimed the whole story was a lie.
But Kevin's family said that is not the
'Kevin has always told the truth,' his mother Joan told DailyMail.com on Friday. 'He told the truth and he did the right thing. He's not sure why Alex is saying these things now.'
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Truth or fiction? Alex Malarkey, left, co-wrote a book with his father Kevin, right, recounting how he saw heaven after being in a car crash. He has now denied the story - but Kevin's family said he has always told the truth
'Lies': Alex Malarkey, pictured in 2009, was just six when he was in the crash and he remains paralyzed
Kevin Malarkey, who is recently divorced from Alex's mother Beth, has not publicly commented on Alex's claims, but Joan Malarkey said 'he has a lot of support' from relatives and friends. He published a second book last summer, 'A Beautiful Defeat'.
The reaction comes after Alex claimed his story was nothing more than fiction.
'THE GATE WAS REALLY TALL': ALEX'S DESCRIPTION OF HEAVEN
The book describes heaven thus:
'When I arrived in heaven, I was inside the gate. The gate was really tall, and it was white.
It was very shiny, and it looked like it had scales like a fish. I was in the inner heaven and everything was brighter and more intense on the inside of the gate. It was perfect.
Perfect is my favorite word for describing heaven.'
Alex also describes in the book how he floated above the scene of his crash and talked to Jesus while firefighters extricated his body from the wreckage.
In an open letter addressed to 'Sellers, buyers and marketers' on Pulpit and Pen, Alex wrote: 'I did not die. I did not go to heaven.'
'I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention,' he wrote.
'When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to.'
Adding that only the Bible describes what heaven is like, he said that people 'should read the Bible, which is enough. The Bible is the only source of truth. Anything written by man cannot be infallible.'
Alex is still severely disabled and is cared for by his mother at home in Ohio. They live together in Huntsville with his three siblings. Kevin Malarkey lives in Columbus, Ohio.
Beth Malarkey has said that Alex does not receive any money from the novel, which made the New York Times Bestsellers List in 2010.
Long before Alex made his statement, Beth Malarkey had claimed on her blog that the book was made up and that when she approached the publishers, they did nothing.
Controversial tale: Alex's mother Beth, left, says he does not receive any money from the sales of the book
Home life: Alex is able to stand with the help of a brace and has been taken on runs by his mother, right
'There are many who are scamming and using the Word of God to do it,' she wrote 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.'
She even claimed that when Alex told a pastor that the book was made up, the man told him the publication was 'blessing' to people and to stay quiet.
She added: 'The ones making money from the book are NOT the ones staying up through the night, struggling for their breath, or were they the ones at six years old, waking up unable to move or breathe and in a strange place after last remember seeing a car coming right at the car he was riding in'.
Many Christian publishers are now announcing that they will stop selling the book.
One of the book's stockists, The Lifeway Christian Bookstore, told Pulpit and Pen that it plans to remove the book from its shelves and send back its current stock.
Before: Alex, pictured before the accident, was in a coma for two months after the crash when he was six
Full-time care: Alex's mother Beth, right, said none of the profits from the book have gone to Alex's care
In a statement, its director of communications, Martin King, said: '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.'
Malarkey said he wrote the book because he thought it would get him 'attention'; it became a best seller
'Therefore, we are returning to the publisher the few copies we have in our Stores.'
The book is one of three 'real-life' tales of paradise on sale at Christian book stores - 90 Minutes in Heaven and Heaven is for Real are the others.
The Malarkeys' book has been a popular read in Christian book stores and had a 4.3 rating on Amazon. It became part of a popular genre of books known as 'heavenly tourism'.
Another young boy's tale of going to heaven, Colton Burpo from Nebraska has recently been made into the movie Heaven is For Real.
The publishers description on the book reads: 'In 2004, Kevin Malarkey and his six-year-old son, Alex, suffered an horrific car accident. The impact from the crash paralyzed Alex–and medically speaking, it was unlikely that he could survive. 'I think Alex has gone to be with Jesus,' a friend told the stricken dad.
'But two months later, Alex awoke from a coma with an incredible story to share. Of events at the accident scene and in the hospital while he was unconscious. Of the angels that took him through the gates of heaven itself. Of the unearthly music that sounded just 'terrible' to a six-year-old. And, most amazing of all . . . Of meeting and talking to Jesus.
'The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven' is the true story of an ordinary boy's most extraordinary journey. As you see heaven and earth through Alex's eyes, you'll come away with new insights on miracles, life beyond this world, and the power of a father's love.'
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2914010/Family-stands-father-wrote-book-son-said-saw-Jesus-following-car-wreck-boy-claims-attention.html