Upon recently learning that the story of Alex Malarkey that inspired the book The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven was fabricated, Tyndale House Publishers immediately put the book and all other ancillary products into out-of-print status.
Malarkey made a public statement on Jan. 14 that he had concocted the made-up tale of when, as a 6-year-old, angels had taken him to the gates of heaven following a horrific auto accident that left him in a coma for two months. Tyndale House published The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven in 2010, and Alex, his father and mother appeared in a Tyndale Entertainment-produced video of the same.
"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," Tyndale said in a statement issued Jan. 16. "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."
Links to the book and associated products were removed from Tyndale's corporate websites. Tyndale's distribution outlets were immediately notified of our decision and told that they could return their remaining inventory if they chose to do so.
While it was only in the past week that Alex Malarkey retracted his story, Tyndale said in a release that its editors had tried on multiple occasions to meet with the family to correct any perceived inaccuracies. On several occasions in 2012, Tyndale reached out to Beth Malarkey to schedule a meeting to respond to a list of alleged inaccuracies in the book.
After originally agreeing to a meeting, Mrs. Malarkey sent us an email on May 22, 2012, saying that, out of concern for her son, she no longer wished to meet.
During the past week, numerous blogs and articles have implied that Tyndale House never paid royalties on this book. In its press release, Tyndale House said it "has paid every penny that is due under the terms of the author contract."
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