Heaven and near-death experiences: Separating fact from fiction


The last time that famed ball dropped in Times Square, Americans seemed hooked on heaven. A glut of books purporting near-death experiences flooded the marketplace. "Heaven is For Real," a film based on a massively popular book about a boy who claimed to have visited heaven, brought in nearly $100 at the box office. And a small faith-based film company invested an estimated $5 million to begin production on "90 Minutes in Heaven," a movie based on another book about a near-death experience. Heaven was having its heyday. After 2015 dawned, however, something shifted. Heaven books and near-death accounts came under greater scrutiny. Alex Malarky, author of popular "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven," admitted that he made the story up and did not actually meet Jesus while in a coma and Lifeway Christian Stores announced they were pulling "heaven visitation" books from their shelves. "90 Minutes in Heaven" tanked at the box office in September.

What went wrong?