The boy who didn't come back from heaven: inside a bestseller's 'deception' | Books | The Guardian:
“You’re right, this whole story is fabricated,” Johnson recalled Beth
Malarkey telling him. “[But] because the book was a bestseller, no one
in the evangelical publishing industry wanted to kill it.”
Johnson would spend the next two years trying to help Beth get out
that message – that Alex’s story wasn’t real, that a child who had
almost died in a car accident in 2004 had been pushed to expand upon a
fairytale he’d told when he was six.
Following the accident, Alex spent two months in a coma and woke up
paralysed. But his description of what happened in between offered a
compelling tale of life after death, including visions of angels and
meeting Jesus. The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, published in 2010 with
Alex and his father Kevin listed as co-authors, eventually became a
bestseller – one billed as a description of “miracles, angels, and life
beyond this world”.
But last week, following persistent rumours, Alex, now 16, revealed
that the detail in the book was false. “I said I went to heaven because I
thought it would get me attention,” he wrote on his own blog.