According to Remski (2019) what the members of high-demand groups do in order to maintain the integrity of the group’s narrative harmonizes with the ideology and awe for the leader which is used to encourage the victim to suppress their truth. Some victims might welcome this suppression for a while, if it protects the victim from the knowledge that they have been abused. Part of them is conditioned by dissociation, shame and group pressure to deny that abuse has occurred, however another part of them may be acutely aware that it was abuse. A smear campaign by a powerful perpetrator may function to control the narrative sufficiently so that followers believe the smears and continue to bully the victim even without instruction.
‘In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator´s first line in defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail’.Herman (2015)