Next was Steve Bell, a Christian publisher who printed her later, more cultic books. These were based more on my grandma’s interpretation of Scripture and less on common theological beliefs, and the more respectable Christian publisher she had worked with before, Zondervaan, refused to print them.
Steve lived and worked in Texas, while we were in Florida. He took in and fulfilled orders for the books and printed them in small batches. He also, at least according to grandma, stole from her. He was printing and selling extra copies without sending her the royalties she was due. Somehow at the end of their meltdown, Steve was no longer her publisher and we started taking and filling the orders ourselves.
After a couple years of this, my grandmother decided to hire more staff. I had been working for her for years, filling orders, taking prayer request calls, and stuffing envelopes with her monthly newsletter. But I was young and in school and couldn’t do it all on my own on Saturdays.
Giggy hired a couple, Van and Nicole, to help out. They were followers who discovered Gig’s teachings later in life, after their own child was grown and married. They moved to the Florida trailer park where Giggy lived, into a red paneled double-wide with room for the cult’s office.
They didn’t leave when a child died after falling on a yellow jackets nest behind that double wide. The child was the son of other followers, in town just to see my grandma. His parents were arrested and charged with medical neglect, before ultimately being judged not guilty at trial.
I was terribly sad. I had babysat that boy and liked him, his quiet gentleness and bright curious eyes. He was only two when he died, and while medical help may not have been able to save him, I wished someone had tried. I started to doubt faith healing.
Giggy wasn’t sad or at least never showed it. What she did show was that she was pissed and worried people would blame her. I don’t think she ever expressed a moment’s sadness at his early passing.
Van and Nicole stayed on but, according to Gig, they too started to steal from her. It wasn’t hard. She gave them the credit card linked to her money market account (established by her father as her inheritance) and didn’t track what they bought with it. They charged office supplies for the ministry to the card, but also home furnishings and their own groceries. There was a big blow up, and they sold their trailer and moved a few months later.